Orioles sign suspended reliever Chris Perez

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Veteran reliever Chris Perez hasn’t been very good for a couple years and was recently suspended 50 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse, but Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports that the Orioles have signed him to a minor-league deal anyway.

Perez was suspended while not under contract to a team, so that means whenever he joins a roster within the Orioles organization he’ll begin serving his 50 games. In other words, he won’t even be eligible to pitch in games regardless of the level until September.

Perez was an All-Star closer for the Indians in 2011 and 2012, but since then he has a 4.31 ERA with 46 walks in 100 innings. He was arrested in 2013, along with his wife, after having a package of marijuana delivered in their dog’s name, so that perhaps provides some clues as to the undisclosed “drug of abuse” that got Perez suspended.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.