Texas Rangers

January 18, 2014

Rangers add lefty with minor league deal

Rafael Perez has an invitation to big league camp for Texas, which may need a bullpen addition.

Another no-risk left-hander has been signed by the Texas Rangers. If Rafael Perez can pitch anywhere close to what Neal Cotts did in 2013, he’ll be quite a bargain.

Perez and the Rangers agreed to a minor-league deal Saturday with an invitation to spring training after he pitched exclusively in the minors in 2013. But he has extensive big-league experience from 2006-12 with Cleveland, going 21-12 with a 3.64 ERA.

He caught the Rangers’ attention with his work this winter in the Dominican Winter League, where he posted a 1.69 ERA in 21 regular-season appearances with Gigantes.

The Rangers have Cotts, who was signed to a minor-league deal before last season and emerged as one of their key relief pieces, and Robbie Ross as lefties in the bullpen but might need another lefty should Ross pitch his way into the starting rotation this spring.

Ross is one of several candidates to fill in for Derek Holland as he recovers from a left knee injury that required microfracture surgery last week. Holland is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break.

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