The Cincinnati Reds placed left-handed reliever Cionel Pérez on waivers this week and on Wednesday afternoon the Baltimore Orioles picked him up. The move puts the Reds 40-man roster at 39.

Cincinnati acquired Cionel Pérez from the Houston Astros in January of 2021 in a trade for minor league catcher Luke Berryhill. The lefty reliever made the team out of spring training, but before April was over he has allowed eight earned runs in 8.2 innings while walking eight batters and had been sent back to the alternate site (the minor league season had not begun yet).

He’d make just one appearance in Triple-A when the season began in early May and was brought back to Cincinnati, but it was more of the same as he struggled to find any sort of consistency, particularly with the strikezone. That was something that was far more of an issue when he was with Cincinnati than with Louisville.

While making numerous trips back and forth between Triple-A and Cincinnati, Cionel Pérez posted a 3.26 ERA with Louisville while striking out 41 batters with 13 walks in 30.1 innings. With Cincinnati, though, his ERA was 6.38 in 24.0 innings with 20 walks and 25 strikeouts.

Baltimore is taking a chance that they can get something closer to the reliever that pitched in Triple-A this past year. But unlike the Reds, they won’t have the opportunity to send him to the minor leagues if things aren’t going well as the lefty is out of options moving forward and in order to send him down they would have to place him on waivers and leave him open to being selected by any team in the league.

Cincinnati’s opened up a spot on the roster now, which means that they could be working on picking up someone. Whether that’s a free agent or perhaps the team is looking at a trade that would require a roster spot. With the non-tender date being moved up a few days to perhaps take place before the lockout when the current collective bargaining agreement is up on December 1st, maybe the Reds are eying someone they believe will be non-tendered that they can swoop in and pick up before the players are locked out. The stove, as they say in Cincinnati each winter, may be luke warm.

41 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    I am waiting to see the end result(if any) before I pass judgement. I see a lot going, but nothing coming so far. It is still early off season, so we will see. There is no RH OF in the Red’s high minors nor nearly enough to fill all the BP slots. I saw where the Phillies were after Givens pretty hard.

  2. JaxDan

    I see either the Reds picking up Frazier or trading Gray for 2 players.

    • William

      I would not trade Gray. I am a Reds fan from childhood, but have found I have to have another team to root for if I want to see the. Win a World Series. So, I am a Dodger fan as well now. Trading Gray is a bad move. He is worth what they will spend on him and more. You will probably get some players that turn out to be subpar for him. A fools move.

      • TOM

        I sorta feel the same way too. When healthy he is the Reds best pitcher IMO. I know the key word is healthy, but the best for the money. If they do trade him I hope they hold out for a strong package in return. After all I believe they are in the driver’s seat.

  3. Old-school

    MLB and union agreed to move up the tender deadline to nov 30 8 pm to get clarity for players heading into the lockout

    Should be a flurry of activity in MLB early next week

  4. LDS

    Regardless of the reason, it’s that we’ve seen the last of Perez. If something is going on, let’s hope it’s stronger than Frazier.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Bell would insert Perez into close games just because he was left handed, not on his merits as a pitcher.

  6. Harold

    It is certainly no loss as he couldn’t find the plate. The Reds can find another “yo yo” pitcher. He might have stood a better chance to than the Orioles as we seem to be gutting our team. SELL NOW BOB. Take your billion and invest in lettuce. Maybe next year we will get the top player in the draft.

    • Doc

      He’s a 15% owner. His share is nowhere near a billion.

    • Colorado Red

      If the ownership group sells, you had better learn to say Vegas Red.

      • Votto4life

        Teams don’t leave cities, cities leave teams.

        The one way to ensure that the Reds leave Cincinnati is for the team to maintain the current ownership.

  7. MK

    Willians Astudillo became a free agent and could be an excellent backup catcher and first baseman with a little bat pop. Projected at 1.2 million he should be within the budget. It would also put him in the organization with his brother.

  8. Ryan

    Perez is no loss why he pitched at all in the bigs this year is beyond me

  9. Michael B. Green

    I would assume this means AG is staying put. That points to AG and Justin Wilson serving as the 2 lefties out of the pen. I also assume that and any other lefty relievers will be minor league signings with invites to sprint training much like Jessie Biddle etc last year.

    • David

      I would also count in Jeff Hoffman as a left hander in the pen for 2022.

      • Doug Gray

        This would make for an incredible story.

      • David

        Yes, that would be incredible, since he is RIGHT HANDED.

        I don’t know why I was thinking he was left handed.

        DOH!!!

    • 2020ball

      I liked the pick-up at the time and still do. Disappointed it didnt work out. Some high talent guys take a long time to figure it out, if they ever do at all.

      • Jimbo44CN

        I thought so too. Even though he had trouble finding the plate, the raw talent was there. Betcha he goes on to be a decent pitcher for someone down the road. Sorry to see him go.

  10. RedFuture

    I think Perez is athletic enough and young enough to fix his control/command problem. He had good stuff and I predict he will become a very good MLB reliever. I don’t see a reason to clear a 40-man spot before it is actually needed either.

    • MK

      When in the last 40 years has there been a positive ownership group in the eyes of Cincinnati fans? Maybe it isn’t the owner as much as unreasonable expectations for this franchise and the areas they need to compete against.

      • Doug Gray

        No, it’s been the ownership. Marge was a racist. Lindner was cheap. The current group has been cheap for the large part of their stay. Mike Brown is and has been cheap and incompetent. I mean, come on – the two pro sports teams have advanced in the playoffs one time in the last 60 combined seasons (30 for each). It’s not the unrealistic expectations of the fans, it’s the complete garbage product put on the fields by the ownership groups.

      • BK

        I don’t follow other Cincinnati teams. Cheap is a relative term. The current Reds ownership group has consistently outspent similar and somewhat larger market teams.

  11. Jim Walker

    I wondered the same. Thinking off the top of my head, perhaps the pending lockout is in play here. The last I was aware of the MLB waiver period is 72 hours; but, assuming MLB is like other major sports, waiver “days” start and end at a set hour of the day for everyone. For instance if the waiver day is noon to noon, a player put on waivers after noon on Sunday would not be settled until noon Thursday because the 72 hours would not start until noon Monday.

    Stepping ahead, using the same noon to noon day, a player would have to be on waivers by noon Friday to be through the 72 hours until noon Monday, the last full waiver day ahead of the lockout at 11:59pm on Monday.

    So, if the Reds anticipate involvement in making a claim or setting a deal (trade or FA signing) requiring a roster spot, it would behoove them to go on and clear the spot sooner rather than later because presumably the waiver process will freeze with the start of the lockout.

    • David

      It’s no fun have a freezer full of frozen waivers, let me tell you.

      The Reds may not have a real braintrust, but they (and other teams) may be gambling that there will be a flurry of waiver activity just before the CBA “lockout”, as teams clean out the 39th or 40th man on their rosters. So they might want to position themselves to have a 40 man roster spot open.
      They might have wanted to keep Cionel Perez, and put him in Louisville (AAA) for the start of the 2022 season. Waivers are always a risk, of course.

  12. Redsvol

    Seems like there were better candidates to expose to waivers to me – Ryan Hendrix, Jared Solomon, and Brandon Bailey all seem less talented. Left handers that throw upper 90’s are rare. I think we may regret this one but I guess the reds felt they couldn’t change him enough. First team eligible to claim him did so which tells us the league thinks he is valuable.

    • Doug Gray

      He cleared the entire National League before Baltimore had a chance to select him.

  13. Redsvol

    There are 3 pitchers I would have waived before losing this guy. I’d name them but my earlier post where I did was deleted by Doug for some reason. Young left ganders that throw upper 90’s don’t grow on trees.

    • Doug Gray

      It wasn’t deleted. It went to moderation because you spelled your email address incorrectly which flagged you as a “new user”.

      I’m not out to get everyone. Just most people.

    • TR

      I was impressed by the potential of Cionel but it was obvious he needed more seasoning in the minors.

      • David

        Well, a left gander (or a right gander) usually needs a lot of seasoning before cooking. 🙂
        But…we were talking about pitchers, so yeah, I think Cionel could have grown into something good. He had some physical ability, but didn’t have the control he needed. Sometimes the light goes on, and that happens.
        Vladimir Guttierez struggled with his control in the minors, and then finally found it and so he was a starter for the Reds in 2021.

  14. Chris Wheeler

    Perez was a disaster out there. This is the one subtraction from the roster I don’t mind at all.

  15. Max BRAGG

    Perez is NO big deal,but my question is if owners sell does Cincinnati lose the REDS? And if so THANK YOU OWNERSHIP!

  16. Michael B. Green

    I wonder if exposing Peraz to a waiver claim means we are focusing on another Pérez – Roberto Perez.

    If his shoulder is sound, he is a perfect compliment to Stephenson and could help the next wave of CIN pitchers.

    I do not see Kolozsvary sticking as the #2. That is collectively not enough experience between Stephenson and him. If he clears waivers, he is a nice #3 at AAA with 2-3 options.

    • Jim Walker

      Kolosvary (or anyone) doesn’t need waivers as long as they have option(s) remaining.
      Players get waived with options available when the team thinks they don’t fit onto the 40 man roster.

      • David

        And yet, Asdrubal Cabrera is still on the 40 man roster.

        And there’s something that I don’t understand, right there.

  17. Jimbo44CN

    Right, there is absolutely no reason to Keep A. Cabrera, what a disaster. You could get somebody better with a parking lot tryout.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s a free agent. The roster on Reds.com is broken.