Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com writes today that it’s “a real possibility” that the Tigers would trade Max Scherzer this offseason. His evidence: Scherzer is going to make a lot of money soon. That’s pretty much it. No sources, no “insiders are saying.” There is one reference to “baseball people familiar with the Tigers” talking about how Detroit may make some major moves if they don’t advance in the postseason.
God, I hope baseball people are familiar with the Tigers. They’ve been around for over a century!
Really, though: while anything can happen, I’m struggling to think of a situation in which the Tigers traded Scherzer. In addition to being this years likely Cy Young Award winner, he’s a key part of the pitching staff. And the Tigers have shown no compunction about (a) spending money; and (b) dealing with Scott Boras. And those are the two factors — expense and Scherzer’s status as a Boras client — which inspires Knobler to speculate here.
Just not buying it. Not on this by itself. Makes little sense.
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.