The Nationals and veteran utilityman Hernan Perez are in agreement on a minor league deal that contains an invitation to Major League Spring Training, reports Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extra Base (Twitter link). He’s repped by Octagon.
Perez, 29, spent the 2020 season in the Cubs organization but appeared in only three games and tallied just six plate appearances. Prior to that brief stint in Chicago, Perez was an oft-used utility piece with the Brewers from 2015-19, tallying 1706 plate appearances and batting .258/.288/.400.
Perez’s best season came back in 2016, when he appeared in 123 games and saw semi-regular playing time. Over 430 plate appearances, he slashed .272/.302/.428 with 13 home runs and a career-best 34 stolen bases. Perez slugged 14 long balls in 458 plate appearances the following year but saw all of his rate stats and his stolen-base total (just 13) go in the wrong direction.
The only position that Perez hasn’t played in the Majors is catcher. He’s even pitched 7 1/3 innings (six runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts), although the bulk of his work has come at third base (1241 innings), second base (966 innings) and in the outfield corners (990 innings combined). A right-handed hitter, Perez has a good bit more power against lefties but carries a sub-.300 OBP regardless of pitcher handedness. On-base shortcomings notwithstanding, he’s a versatile defender with a bit of pop in his bat and some speed, making him a decent flier for a club like the Nats that could use some depth on its bench.