The Orioles have claimed lefty Cionel Perez off waivers from the Reds, per a team announcement. Baltimore’s 40-man roster is now full.
Perez, 25, was a prominent international signing out of Cuba by the Astros back in 2016, when current Orioles GM Mike Elias was an assistant GM in Houston. Cincinnati acquired him from Houston this past January, and he went on to tally 24 big league innings with a 6.38 ERA with a 22.5% strikeout rate, an 18.6% walk rate and a 51.5% ground-ball rate at the MLB level. In 50 2/3 innings between the Reds and the Astros, Perez has a 6.04 ERA.
While he’s worked exclusively as a reliever in the Majors, Perez has split his time between the rotation and the bullpen in the minors. He has a 4.46 ERA with a 24.5% strikeout rate and 11.7% walk rate in 82 2/3 innings of Triple-A ball, and although that walk rate is rather bloated, Perez’s 52% grounder rate in Triple-A is strong. He was particularly sharp in Triple-A Louisville this past season, notching a 3.26 ERA and 41-to-13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings of relief.
Perez is out of minor league options, so if he makes it through the offseason on Baltimore’s 40-man roster, have to either break camp with the Orioles or else be exposed to waivers a second time.