Two minor leaguers suspended for drugs

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But … but … those players from the 60s and 70s all told me that amphetamines don’t enhance performance!

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Free agent Minor League right-handed pitcher Ryan Acosta and free agent Minor League second baseman Chris Retherford have each received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  The suspensions of Acosta and Retherford will be effective immediately upon each one’s signing with another Major League organization.

Both Acosta and Retherford had been with the Dodgers the past couple of years, including some time in A-ball this season for Acosta, but I guess they’ve been released.

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.