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Cincinnati Reds sign Brooks Kriske, Hernan Perez to minor league deals

Building depth, the Reds are!

Washington Nationals Workout Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

You know Hernan Perez, and you know him well. From the start of the 2016 MLB season through the end of 2019, he socked 44 homers and swiped 63 bags within the National League Central for the Milwaukee Brewers, often serving as a particular thorn in the side of the Cincinnati Reds. His career .794 OPS against Cincinnati is his best against any team he has faced in at least 100 PA, after all.

Perez has played quite literally all over the field in his career, with catcher the only position where he hasn’t seen time at the big league level. That makes him just about the perfect depth piece, something the Reds made him last week when they signed him to a minor league deal. Hat-tip to Gingersaurus Rex on the Twitter machine for pointing out that news earlier today.

Perez, who’ll be 33 in March, last appeared in a big league game with the Washington Nationals in 2021. He spent the 2022 season entirely at AAA Gwinnett within the Atlanta organization and posted a solid .836 OPS in 231 PA for AAA St. Paul within the Minnesota organization last year. He’ll be parked at AAA Louisville for similar time in 2024, assuming all other designs go to plan.

The Reds formally announced the signing of RHP Brooks Kriske on Thursday morning, too.

The righty, who’ll be 30 in February, is a former 6th round pick of the New York Yankees who has logged a grand total of 21.2 IP at the game’s highest level since 2021 split between the Bronx, Baltimore, and Kansas City, in which time he’s been hammered for 27 ER. He was released mid-July by the Royals this past season to pursue a career in Japan, and caught on with the Saitama Seibu Lions where he fared much, much better in a small sample. That came on the heels of him spending all of his baseball days in Japan during the 2022 season, in which time he pitched to a respectable 3.50 ERA in 36.0 IP for the Yokohama Bay Stars.

I have pointed out in years past that the Lions have perhaps the cleanest cap/logo in all of baseball, and Kriske got to wear it. Surely that imbued in him a renewed desire to slice up opponent batters with aplomb.

Kriske also has an 80-grade pitch face, which must count for something.

New York Mets v New York Yankees - Game One Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome to the new Reds age, Hernan and Brooks.