Robinson Cano would give MVP vote to himself

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Robinson Cano is having another excellent season, hitting .305 with 27 homers, an .891 OPS, and strong defense at second base while playing every game for the Yankees, but his name is rarely brought up in most discussions about MVP candidates.

Or at least rarely brought up by anyone but Cano himself.

Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York asked Cano who would get his hypothetical MVP vote this season and Cano chose himself while campaigning for actual votes from the writers with ballots:

MVP is tough right now, you got a lot of guys, but I would give my vote to myself. You can see the numbers. I’m batting fifth in the lineup, I’ve been there the whole year and why not me? My numbers are there and you guys got to decide that. I hope I get your guys vote.

Cano finished third in the MVP voting last season behind Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera, and his performance has been more or less identical this season–he ranks 10th among AL position players in WAR–but there’s very little buzz surrounding his candidacy and Curtis Granderson seems certain to be the Yankees’ top vote-getter.

Sorry, Robinson.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.