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Perez staying in Rochester despite freedom to leave

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER
  • Star Tribune
  • May 1, 2013 - 7:20 AM

Rafael Perez won’t be on the Twins roster Wednesday, and under his contract, he’s allowed to walk away and become a free agent again.

But the lefthanded reliever — trying to come back from shoulder surgery last winter — isn’t going anywhere, assistant general manager Rob Antony said.

“I talked to his agent. They understand this process is taking longer than either one of us thought it would,” Antony said. “He’s fine with going to [Class AAA] Rochester and pitching. Get into a competitive situation and let us fairly evaluate him and let him get going.”

That will happen once he builds arm strength, likely sometime next month.

Perez, who threw 20 pitches in one inning of work at extended spring training Tuesday, signed with the Twins in February with the stipulation he could ask for his release if he wasn’t back in the majors by May 1. A couple of setbacks in Fort Myers, however, have slowed his progress, and made the deadline impractical. So the two sides reached “a gentleman’s agreement,” Antony said, on a new roster-or-walk date later this summer.

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