Royals claim Chris Volstad off waivers from Cubs

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Chris Volstad was a flop in Chicago after the Cubs acquired him from the Marlins in the Carlos Zambrano salary dump, going 3-12 with a 6.21 ERA in 21 starts.

Today the Royals claimed Volstad off waivers, which is an odd move considering he made $2.66 million this season and would be in line for a similar salary for 2013 via arbitration.

Under the rules of arbitration the Royals could only cut Volstad’s salary by 20 percent, but they could non-tender him and then attempt to re-sign him for less. Of course, they could also have just waited for the Cubs to non-tender him and do the same thing.

Volstad is a 6-foot-8 former first-round pick and showed some promise early in his career, but now he’s 26 years old with a 5.14 ERA in 611 innings since 2009.

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.