Pirates Sign Left-Handed Pitcher Rafael Perez to Minor League Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed left-handed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league deal and have assigned him to Indianapolis, per an Indianapolis press release.

Perez has a career 3.64 ERA in 329 innings in the majors, with a 7.3 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. He spent all seven years in the majors with the Cleveland Indians, with his last year being 2012. Perez spent the 2013 season between the Boston and Minnesota farm systems, and has split the 2014 season between the Rangers’ Triple-A squad and the Mexican League. He had a 3.92 ERA in 43.2 innings in the Mexican League, with an 8.7 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9.

Perez has dealt with shoulder issues the last few years, having surgery in late-2012. He was released by the Texas Rangers on April 17th this year after putting up some poor numbers early in the season in Triple-A.

The numbers in the Mexican League give hope that Perez is back to being healthy. This is a no-risk signing, as he’s only taking up a spot on the Triple-A roster if he doesn’t work out. It also has a high reward, since Perez was a solid lefty reliever as recently as two to three years ago. If he is back to his old self, he could be a nice addition to the Pirates’ bullpen down the stretch.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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R Edwards

The mighty Ike Davis…….Had another late PH opportunity to impact a close game tonight. Last night, strikes out with bases loaded. Tonight, ground out with runners on the corners.

Great trade Neal!

Mets must be giggling.


While we’re talking bad trades….Bryan Morris: 21.1 IP, 0 ER w/ Marlins.

R Edwards

I said that immediately after the Morris trade. just a very poor return with a reliever who we spent years developing, and who was ready to be a significant contributor. Our loss. Good thing we didn’t make such a rush to judgment in Watson’s first two years – which were less than stellar.

BTW, where is Connor Joe? Is he hurt? I don’t see him playing anywhere yet??


Is Wilson out of options? He could use a stint in AAA where he pitches more frequently to work out his control issues.


Groundball inducing LHP who favors a slider and has had previous success in the majors. Sounds very logical for the Bucs.


Solid depth, but Pirates don’t seem to care about using it. Oliver should be up over Wilson, and Mazzaro over Frieri.

R Edwards

You are making too much sense….watch it!

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