The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed left-handed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league deal and have assigned him to Indianapolis, per an Indianapolis press release.
Perez has a career 3.64 ERA in 329 innings in the majors, with a 7.3 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. He spent all seven years in the majors with the Cleveland Indians, with his last year being 2012. Perez spent the 2013 season between the Boston and Minnesota farm systems, and has split the 2014 season between the Rangers’ Triple-A squad and the Mexican League. He had a 3.92 ERA in 43.2 innings in the Mexican League, with an 8.7 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9.
Perez has dealt with shoulder issues the last few years, having surgery in late-2012. He was released by the Texas Rangers on April 17th this year after putting up some poor numbers early in the season in Triple-A.
The numbers in the Mexican League give hope that Perez is back to being healthy. This is a no-risk signing, as he’s only taking up a spot on the Triple-A roster if he doesn’t work out. It also has a high reward, since Perez was a solid lefty reliever as recently as two to three years ago. If he is back to his old self, he could be a nice addition to the Pirates’ bullpen down the stretch.