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Twins Sign Lefty Reliever Rafael Perez

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Via Twitter, the Star-Tribune's LaVelle Neal announced the signing of left-handed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league contract today. He had been non-tendered by the Cleveland Indians in November after pitching in just eight games for the team in 2012. He fought a side injury early in the season and later was out for the season due to a shoulder injury.

However, in his seven seasons (all in Cleveland), he was a very good reliever, most of the time. In all, he worked 329 innings in 338 games. He posted an ERA of 3.64 with a WHIP of 1.33.

In 2009, he posted a 7.31 ERA in 54 games. However, in his five other big league seasons, he never posted an ERA over 3.54.

The left-hander's platoon splits are actually quite similar. In his career, lefties have posted a .678 OPS while right-handed batters posted a .694 OPS. He has struckout 21% of right-handed batters faced and about 17% of left-handers.

Although he is just 30-years-old, his best years were 2006 through 2008 when he averaged more than a strikeout per inning. His K-Rates the past four seasons have been 6.0, 5.3, 4.7 and 4.7, so expectations should be kept minimized.

What does it mean for the Twins? Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing will be in the Twins bullpen. If the Twins choose to have a third lefty in the bullpen, Perez will compete with Tyler Robertson, who spent the second half of the 2012 season with the Twins, and Minnesotan Caleb Thielbar, who was added to the Twins 40 man roster in November after pitching well at three levels a year ago.

Specifics of the minor league deal are not yet public.
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