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The Return of Neifi (Don't Worry - It's Not to Detroit)

In what might be the most surprising story of Spring Training thus far, Neifi Perez is returning to the major leagues. That's not really the surprising part. And we don't know if he'll be back in the majors yet, as he signed a minor-league contract today.

No, the surprise is that Neifi isn't reuniting with perhaps his biggest advocate, Dusty Baker, in Cincinnati. Instead, he'll try to get back to the majors with the team that originally put him there, the Colorado Rockies.

As Neifi still has the remainder of his 80-game suspension for illegal stimulant use (third offense!) to finish out, he can't join the Rockies for the first 18 games of the season. If he makes the major team this spring, Neifi would remain in Tucson for extended Spring Training until his suspension expires.

Maybe Neifi could rediscover some of that purple magic in Colorado, where he had his best season in 2000. That year, he batted .287/.314/.427 with 10 home runs and 71 RBIs, and won the Gold Glove at shortstop.

(Image courtesy of RobotMonkeyPirate!)