Dustin Pedroia needs more tests on his thumb

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Dustin Pedroia tore a muscle in the thumb in late May and missed six games. Then he landed funny on it on Tuesday night, sat out yesterday’s game and now he needs more tests on it, which he’ll get on today’s offday.  Bobby Valentine isn’t worried, though:

“Not really hurt. I just think he needs these two days, and so does he,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “He’s a little stiff here and there.”

Pedroia says it’s in a different area from where it was hurt before, but that the team told him to sit out of an abundance of caution.

Bright spot: more Nick Punto. And who doesn’t want that?

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.