UPDATE: Nope, Dusty Baker still on the sidelines

3 Comments

UPDATE: We spoke too soon.  Dusty Baker will miss another game because of an irregular heartbeat. Chris Speier will continue to fill in for Baker.

10:30 AM: Good news: Ken Rosenthal reports that Dusty Baker, who has spent the last two days in the hospital due to an irregular heartbeat, is expected to manage the Reds tonight.

The final determination should be made later today, but it sounds like he’ll be leaving Chicago and should be back in Cincinnati tonight for the Reds-Dodgers tilt.  Between his return and the Reds clinching last night, I would expect mucho applause.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.