No. 1 pick Carlos Correa signed with the Astros almost immediately and the high school shortstop from Puerto Rico also wasted no time making his professional debut, going 1-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base today at rookie-ball.
Correa, who agreed to a $4.8 million bonus compared to the $7.2 million slot value for the top pick, also struck out once against the Cardinals’ affiliate on Opening Day for the Gulf Coast League.
No. 2 overall pick Byron Buxton also signed quickly with the Twins, getting a draft-high $6 million, but his Gulf Coast League debut is apparently being delayed for a few days.
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.