Dominican police make arrests in killing of Pascual Perez

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According to the Associated Press, police in the Dominican Republic said today that they have arrested three men suspected in the killing of former major league pitcher Pascual Perez during a home robbery on Thursday. Two other suspects are still at large.

One of the men who was arrested actually knew Perez and confessed that he and four others were planning to steal his $2,400 monthly pension. Police identified a second man as a low-level drug dealer while the third man was arrested after allegedly selling one of Perez’s cell phones for $6.25. The three men are expected to be formally charged later today while the other two suspects have been identified.

Perez pitched in the major leagues from 1980-1991, compiling a 67-68 record with a 3.44 ERA and 822 strikeouts in 1244 1/3 innings while making stops with the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.