Bill Bray, Cincinnati’s talented but often injured left-handed reliever, is being shut down and sent home for the rest of the season.
“He’s still on the DL,” pitching coach Bryan Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay. “He’s not going to be activated. He wasn’t going to pitch for us in September. He battled with a lot different stuff — his back, groin and knee. With the knee, he couldn’t run.”
Bray has pitched just 8 2/3 innings in between DL stints this year, walking 14 and allowing five runs. The Reds will probably non-tender him this winter rather than pay him another $1.5 million to be the third lefty in their pen next year.
A 2004 first-round pick of the Nationals, Bray has been with the Reds since mid-2006. He’s put in relatively full major league seasons just twice, but he was plenty good when he did. He had a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances in 2008 and a 2.98 ERA in 48 1/3 innings last year.
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.