Héctor Pérez was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. The right-hander may be ticketed for the Reds bullpen. Pérez was an international signing who began his career with the Houston Astros and came to the Toronto Blue Jays by way of a trade.
Having only appeared in one career major league game, it’s not as though Pérez has an esteemed track record. In his one big league appearance, the 24-year-old went 1.2 innings, walked three batters, struck out one, and allowed a home run.
Héctor Pérez is ticketed, perhaps, for the Reds bullpen.
This is not an attempt by Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office to add another arm to mix for the team’s No. 5 starter. The coaching staff already have the likes of Michael Lorenzen, Tejay Antone, Jeff Hoffman, and Brandon Bailey competing for that spot, to say nothing of top prospect Nick Lodolo.
FanGraphs notes that Pérez, because of control issues, will likely find a role in the bullpen. Whether or not that role becomes permanent may depend a lot on whether or not Pérez can throw strikes.
Pérez does have a minor league option remaining. Reds GM Nick Krall spoke earlier this offseason about trying to find relief pitchers with options remaining. The aforementioned Brandon Bailey is also in that group, as are Antone, Ryan Hendrix, and Art Warren.
Héctor Pérez has a fastball that touches the upper-90s, and according to MLB Pipeline, the right-hander possesses a wipeout slider and a curveball along with a splitter. So, while the results have yet to meet big league expectations, Pérez has an impressive arsenal of pitches.
Projecting the Cincinnati Reds bullpen for the upcoming season is no easy task. I think it’s safe to include Antone, Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, Noé Ramirez, Jeff Hoffman, and José De León. However, that leaves two more spots to fill as we approach spring training.
Pérez will certainly be given an opportunity to find a home in the Cincinnati bullpen, but his minor league option gives the team a chance to yo-yo him between the majors and Triple-A Louisville as well. Adding depth of any kind to the bullpen, especially a power-arm like Pérez, is always a good thing.