There are some still trickling in — and it’s possible I may have missed one — but it appears as though every single free agent who was given a qualifying offer by their team has declined them.
Josh Hamilton, Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Kyle Lohse and B.J. Upton have all been reported to have done so. If there are others out there … don’t hold your breath on an acceptance.
The teams that made qualifying offers to their free agents will now get draft pick compensation from whatever teams sign these guys. They are, however, still able to sign them themselves if they are so inclined.
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.