Losing Cionel Pérez virtually guarantees Amir Garrett will return to the Reds in 2022

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) follows through on delivery.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) follows through on delivery. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

Cionel Pérez was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. This move virtually guarantees that Amir Garrett will be on the Cincinnati Reds roster next season.

Garrett was, and still is, a candidate to be non-tendered later this month. AG is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to take home $2.2M next season.

Garrett's 2021 performance certainly doesn't merit a pay raise, but that's the way Major League Baseball works.

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett had a horrible 2021 season.

AG posted a 6.04 ERA and 1.573 WHIP last season to go along with four blown saves.

The left-hander did record 61 punch outs over 47.2 innings of work, but also walked 29 batters.

Garrett's ERA+ dipped from 202 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season to just 79 last season.

Matching those numbers up against Pérez's, you could argue that the two southpaws had eerily similar seasons.

Pérez owned a 6.38 ERA in 25 games. Over 24 innings pitched, the Cuban struck out 25 batters and walked 20.

Pérez had an xERA of 4.42 and a walk-rate of 18.0% while AG's xERA was 4.45 and the former St. John's basketball star owned a 13.5% walk-rate.

Amir Garrett is a virtual lock to be on the Reds roster in 2022.

The difference between the two is that Amir Garrett has a proven track record of success, while Cionel Pérez has spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues.

Looking at Garrett's performance from 2019-2020, the lefty owned a 12.59 K/9, 3.03 ERA, and 3.54 xFIP.

Garrett's 33.0% strikeout-rate during those two seasons is also quite impressive.

It's been the free passes that have haunted Amir Garrett, not just in 2021, but throughout his entire career.

The southpaw posted a 13.3% walk-rate and 5.09 BB/9 even during his successful run from 2019-2020.

AG has also struggled against right-handed hitters. In 2020, Garrett dominated lefties to the tune of a .043 batting average against.

Right-handed hitters, however, hit .231 off Garrett in 2020. In 2021, it was more of the same. Right-handed batters hit .267 off AG, and even lefties hit .226.

With Justin Wilson as the only other left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster, I'd say AG's safe for now.

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However, if the Cincinnati Reds look to Reiver Sanmartin as a reliever rather than a starter, Amir Garrett could be on the hot seat.