Left-handed reliever Cionel Pérez and the Orioles have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, the team announced on Monday.

The deal is worth $1.2 million, according to a source, and also includes a club option for 2025. The Orioles have now avoided arbitration with 13 of the 17 players they tendered contracts to, with Austin Hays, Ryan O’Hearn, Jacob Webb and Danny Coulombe as the remaining players without deals. The two sides can continue to negotiate and, if they don’t come to an agreement, will head to a hearing, which usually takes place in February.

Pérez, 27, started his career with the Astros, making appearances in three seasons before being traded to the Reds. The Orioles claimed him off waivers from Cincinnati in November 2021.

He broke out in 2022, becoming a key part of the Orioles bullpen and ending the season with a 1.40 ERA in 57.2 innings pitched. There were some rough patches in the first half of the 2023 season, but Pérez rebounded in the second half, allowing just four runs in September and none in his two playoff appearances. After Félix Bautista was sidelined, Pérez was trusted with bigger roles, earning two saves in the last month of the season.

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With Bautista out for the 2024 season after getting Tommy John surgery, Pérez figures to take on bigger moments for the Orioles, especially if DL Hall and Tyler Wells return to the rotation.

Craig Kimbrel — signed in December to a one-year, $12 million deal with a club option for 2025 — is set to be the closer, with Yennier Cano and Pérez slated to set him up.

The Orioles reached deals with outfielder Anthony Santander, outfielder Cedric Mullins, left-hander Cole Irvin, right-hander Dillon Tate, left-hander John Means, first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, infielder Ramón Urías and right-hander Tyler Wells ahead of the Jan. 11 arbitration deadline.

If the player and team head to a hearing, an arbitrator then chooses which of the two salary proposals is commensurate with the player’s production.

Baltimore Banner reporter Andy Kostka contributed to this report.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College. 

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