Cuban OF signed by Reds

The Reds announced the signing of Cuban outfielder Felix Perez on Monday to a Minor League contract.

Here’s what we know:

*He’s 25, bats and throws left-handed.

*The signing bonus was worth $550,000

*According to the Reds scouting reports, he’s not a plus guy in any category — they said he was average.

*The plan is to start Perez at the complex in Goodyear and then send him to either Class A Dayton or Lynchburg. But they think at his age, he’s Double-A ready. They don’t think he’ll be in the Majors this year.

*Perez has been working out at the club’s Dominican academy and was cleared to sign about 10 days ago. Several teams were in contention.

“The concern we have is jumping right into a Double-A setting,” said Bill Bavasi, Reds vice president of scouting, player development and international operations. “But at his age, he needs to do that. We’ll bring him into Arizona No matter what he does at Class A, he’ll need to get to Double-A pretty quick. He needs that challenge.”

Perez was suspended last year for lying about his age (claimed to be 20, not his actual 24 at the time). That cost him his $3.5 million deal with the Yankees, which was pulled.

*This is not the second coming of Aroldis Chapman in terms of buzz. The only thing these two players have in common is they are both Cuban.

“We’re not thinking he’s going to be a Hall of Famer but we think he’s an addition to the organization, a left-handed hitter that hopefully down the road will be of value to the organization,” said Tony Arias, the Reds’ director of Latin American scouting.

More from Arias:

“We’ll have to get the visa, get him over to Arizona and see where he’s at as far as being able to play U.S. baseball. I’m sure he’s going to have the same difficulties Chapman is probably having getting used to the United States. I think we’ll be more prepared after having some experience with Chapman. We’ll be able to utilize our experience with Felix Perez.”

The Reds have been impressed by Perez’s work ethic and instincts.

“Nothing jumps off the charts at you but he’s kind of a baseball rat,” Bavasi said. “He loves to play. You can’t underestimate this — he’s been there a long time going to workout after workout. He’ll play in any game you ask him to. He’ll work out any time you want him to. Most of the other guys going through the same thing are very calculating. They won’t workout for you all the time. He’ll do anything you want. Everything he does is hard.”

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