Eli Whiteside is giving Sandy Rosario some competition for the waiver wire’s favorite player this offseason.
Today the Rangers claimed Whiteside off waivers from the Blue Jays, who had claimed him off waivers from the Yankees … who had claimed him off waivers from the Giants. And all since November 1.
Somewhere along the way Whiteside signed a one-year, $600,000 deal for 2013, which at least three teams think is a reasonable price for a 33-year-old backup catcher with a .215 batting average and .608 OPS in 208 career games.
He’ll provide depth behind Geovany Soto, but could be back on waivers again if the Rangers’ reported interest in A.J. Pierzynski pans out or they acquire a different catcher.
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.