Carlos Marmol arrived at Cubs camp today and spoke to reporters about the abuse charges he’s facing in the Dominican Republic.
Details have been scarce, but a 24-year-old woman filed a civil suit alleging a domestic assault incident in October. Marmol said today that he gave the woman a ride home from a party and then heard about the allegations on the radio, at which point he called a lawyer.
Marmol described himself as “very pissed off” and has filed a countersuit against the woman for blackmail and extortion. “They tried to hurt me,” Marmol said, via Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “I didn’t do anything. The stuff she said is not true. It’s about money.”
Cubs president Theo Epstein spoke in support of the reliever, saying: “Every piece of information that we were able to gather backs up Carlos’ story that he’s guilty of no wrongdoing whatsoever and may in fact be a victim here if this case continues to be pursued like this.”
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.