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Braves sign lefty reliever Perez

MILWAUKEE – A week after bringing in free agent left-hander Luis Perez to throw for team officials at spring training, the Braves signed him to a minor league contract in hopes of having him become a significant bullpen piece later in the season.

Perez had arthroscopic surgery in January to remove scar tissue from his elbow, after missing most of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was out of minor-league options and was released by the Blue Jays late in spring training to open a roster spot after they claimed outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo off waivers from the Arizona.

Perez, 29, has been effective against lefty hitters when healthy, holding them to a .239 opponents’ average and .311 on-base percentage in 78 career appearances (four starts) over parts of three seasons with Toronto.

His best season was 2012, when he had a 3.43 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 42 innings and held lefty hitters to a .194 average (12-for-62) with 23 strikeouts before getting hurt.

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