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.