Well, here’s something interesting.
Seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time scoring champion Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA last August after a 16-year playing career, but he’s not done with sports altogether. In fact, he’s apparently considering giving baseball a try.
For what it’s worth, ESPN announcer and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy said during a broadcast last night that he was hearing the same thing.
While this is a surprising story on the surface, maybe it shouldn’t be. McGrady played baseball in high school and has said that the game was his first love growing up. Of course, his fallback plan worked out pretty well. McGrady is also an investor in a minor league team in Biloxi, Mississippi which is set to debut in 2015.
McGrady, who stands at 6-foot-8, will turn 35 in May. It should be an interesting story to follow at the very least.
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.