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Red Sox sign Rafael Perez to minor leauge deal

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The Red Sox have signed former Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league deal.

Jared Wickerham

According to Ian Browne, the Red Sox have signed former Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league contract. Perez had started the year in the Twins' minor league system, but was granted his release when it became clear a call-up was not in his immediate future.

Perez, 31, is a long way from the performances in 2007 and 2008 that left him pegged as Cleveland's future closer. While he's not exactly been battered by opposing hitters outside of 2009, when his ERA shot up over 7.00, the lefty hasn't been his old self, missing the strikeout punch which made him so effective back in his first years.

Perez is coming off of shoulder surgery, so there's no telling what he's got left in him at this point. But as far as minor league contracts go, Perez seems like a pretty high-quality option to effectively pick up for free.

One small thing worth noting: Ian Browne's exact words are that Perez will "start" at Portland. Maybe that just means he'll play there first, but it's worth noting that the Twins at least played around with the idea of converting him, and that'd sure be right up Boston's alley...