If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want to read a column in which Ernie Harwell tells spring training stories from the 1940s to the 1960s then I don’t have much use for you.
And for those of you unfamiliar with his work, Harwell used to begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12:
lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear
on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice
of the turtle is heard in our land.”
He may not get a chance to say it on the radio this year, but I’m glad that Harwell has held on long enough to hear the voice of the turtle one more time.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins have picked up free agent left-hander Martín Pérez on a one-year deal. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be announced, but it looks like a club option is included for the 2020 season. The Twins have not officially confirmed the signing.
Pérez, 27, missed 85 days of the Rangers’ 2018 campaign after undergoing elbow surgery on his non-throwing arm. He sustained the injury partway through the 2017 offseason; as the story goes, he was charged by a bull at his ranch in Venezuela and fell on his right arm as he was trying to get out of the animal’s path. (He later killed and ate said bull.) When he finally returned to the mound, he cobbled together a 2-7 record in 15 starts with a 6.22 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 5.5 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR through 85 1/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.
As they approach the start of the 2019 season, the Twins will be looking for something a little more, well, bullish from Pérez. Prior to his injury, he turned in two solid seasons with the Rangers in 2016 and 2017, nearing the 200-inning threshold in both campaigns and providing a combined value of 4.2 fWAR at a time when Texas’ starters collectively ranked sixth-worst in the league.