Jose Canseco is 47 years-old. He spent last summer as a player/manager in the independent Golden League, where he hit .256/.371/427. But that’s not stopping him: he just signed to play this year for the Quintana Roo Tigers of the Mexican League. The team plays in Cancun, so I guess he’ll at least have some fun while he’s down there.
But fun isn’t what’s on his mind. He sees this as a path back to the majors. His statement:
“I am thrilled to be back in affiliated professional baseball. Playing and managing for the independent league Yuma Scorpions last year really rekindled my love for the game and facing the veteran players in that league made me realize that I can still hit at the major league level. I am grateful that Cancun has given me this opportunity and I hope to help them to a championship season and demonstrate that I can help a big league team.”
I go back and forth between thinking that Canseco’s desire to play in the majors again is pathetic and thinking that’s it kind of sweet in a twisted way. I mean, sure, he’s completely detached from reality, but maybe that detachment is actually the only thing that helps him get through the damn day.
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.