Chris Perez Talks Indians, Tigers

Indians closer Chris Perez offered some potentially controversial analysis of the Cleveland market in an interview that could put the outspoken right-hander back in the national spotlight. In particular, Perez highlighted that the Tigers regularly out-spend their division rivals in Cleveland.

“Different owners,” Perez told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. “It comes down to that. They [the Tigers] are spending money. He [owner Mike Ilitch] wants to win. Even when the economy was down, he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”

Perez went on to say that top baseball executives have a share of the responsibility as well. Owners don’t make the baseball decisions, so general managers must be accountable for player moves, he said.

“The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t,” Perez said. “They pick. The owners don’t pick.”

Perez, 27, suggested the Indians would be better off if they had been more aggressive on last year’s free agent market.

Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to [pony] up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in,” he said.

The two-time All-Star earns $4.5MM this year and will go to arbitration this coming offseason. The Indians control his rights through 2014, but they could look to trade him before then in the opinion of MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (Twitter link). Perez has a 3.51 ERA with 10.4 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 34 saves in 48 2/3 innings so far in 2012. 

The Tigers rank fifth in MLB with a payroll of $132.3MM, according to USA Today. Meanwhile, the Indians rank 21st with a payroll of $78.4MM. President Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti run the team, which is owned by Larry Dolan.


46 Responses to Chris Perez Talks Indians, Tigers Leave a Reply

  1. James 3 years ago

    He probably jinxed the whole team when he was bragging about being in first.

  2. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Chris should know his role, he’s not an owner or a GM, he’s a player and players should stick to the game instead of worrying about everything else.

    Spending money doesn’t equal wins, and I’m pretty sure when Ilitch spent his money in the offseason he was hoping to be in a lot better standing.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      You’re right that a player should stick to the game, but for the most part, Chris Perez is not wrong. Spending money doesn’t equal wins, but there is a strong correlation. It depends on the owners to supply the money, and the GMs to spend the money wisely.

      I think Perez is subtly hinting that he wants improvements, otherwise, he wants to be traded.

      • Sellthe team Dopeland 3 years ago

        every Cleveland Indian fan alive since 1948 hates Dopelan, Cheapiro and Antonetti. CP is right, these idiots are to blame. They put this team on the field, full of spring training invites, and trade any player that has any potential away. Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia just in recent years.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        a good front office much more important than a ton of money.

        spending money for the sake of it can hurt an organization just as much as being cheap.

        Twins, Brewers, Mets and Marlins all have 90+ million payrolls.

        • $17867741 3 years ago

          I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Phillies or Cubs.

          Anyhow, I don’t think anyone is implying to spend money for the sake of spending it. However, if a team decides to go the cost-effective route, and build from within, they gotta be able to keep their own developed talent.

          Consider Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia. Did the Indians even attempt to keep their own guys?

          Shin Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera are set to reach free agency in the coming years. Will the Indians cheap-it-out and trade them away? Or will they finally decide to lock up their developed talent, like they did for Carlos Santana?

          Recent history suggests the former and that’s not good.

  3. Kën Shrëk 3 years ago

    10 cent head

  4. LifelongMets 3 years ago

    He should learn to keep his mouth shut if he wants a job. Only 1/3 of the teams are going to make the playoffs, Mr. Perez. If the Indians let you go, and you sign elsewhere, will you criticize their ownership or fanbase as well if they don’t contend?

    He’s making millions of dollars, most of us fans aren’t, and we don’t complain as much as he does.

    Chris Perez: Grow up and Shut up.

    • Xyz275 3 years ago

      As an Indians fan I will say that having a voice is kind of nice every once in a while. Having been lied to over and over by owners about how they will spend money is a complete joke.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        A’s, Rays, and Pirates all have less of a payroll than the indians and are very close/in playoffs spots.

        and baltimore, reds and nationals have payrolls less than 5 million more.

        • $6592481 3 years ago

          I really wish Cleveland had hung onto Neal Huntington.

    • Bob George 3 years ago

      It’s a free world. He didn’t say anything offensive. Wanting to win is not offensive. One could say taking public money to build a new stadium, setting ticket prices at $1,000 per seat, and then getting busted for being involved in a ponzi scheme for decades is offensive.

      • LifelongMets 3 years ago

        Practical question; would you have mentioned that if my title didn’t include “Mets”?

        It was totally wrong– and I dislike the Wilpon Family, but its really a different situation when players complain like babies and when some real financial disaster occurs. Of course the financial disaster is on a bigger scale, but they’re two totally different scenarios. And for the record, I was all in for Mr. Doubleday’s idea of renovating Shea Stadium.

  5. What could he have said in place of “(pony)”? Donkey? Horse? Fork? Some kind of expletive? Just curious…

    • Bob George 3 years ago

      He didn’t use any word there, the writer is just trying to make the sentence more clear. AP style training teaches actual journalists to follow set rules, that’s one of them.

      • But there has to be an “actual” word there, or it is not a sentence. The rest of the quote is direct from Perez. Does the AP guy just like ponies?

        • Matt Talken 3 years ago

          It’s what the writer thinks the player was implying. There doesn’t have to be a word there, although usually the bracketed phrase or word is a name replacing a pronoun (so that it’s clear who they’re talking about).

          Otherwise though, VotersRights is exactly right. People sometimes kind of stumble over their words when talking and this is allowed to make spoken language easier to understand when actually written down.

  6. Chris Perez can say whatever he wants and can also deal with the positive or negative consequences of those actions. Seems pretty simple to me.

  7. DonO 3 years ago

    I think he’s right and the Tribe should spend some money on a real closer.

  8. TimotheusATL 3 years ago

    they spent $10MM on sizemore and lowe. probably not his place to say it. but he’s not wrong. look no further than baltimore for an example.

  9. Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

    Allhe wants to do is win, and wants to be on a team that wants to win. He’s trying to ignite the fire.

  10. MaineSkin 3 years ago

    Perez was already an attractive trade chip with his salary, but now hes as good as gone. Pestano is the closer next year.

    • $1529282 3 years ago

      I don’t know that “attractive” is the term I’d use to describe him as a trade chip. As you said, his salary is getting up there. I imagine it’ll be prohibitive for a lot of teams. Between that and his blatant indicating that he’s not pleased with the front office, his value certainly isn’t high. I doubt the Indians get a particularly significant return for him.

      • Ohiowa 3 years ago

        I think the return on Perez would be significant. Not too many closers with his record and the Tribe could have a couple of teams bidding for his services.

        • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

          I’m a little mystified when teams overpay for a closer.

  11. Beersy 3 years ago

    Looks like somebody will be looking for a new house this off season.

  12. corey23 3 years ago

    I feel he gets his words twisted, the media just loves interviewing him bc they can get quotes out of him that will sound controversial.

  13. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    I’m often puzzled why players would even speak to or through the media…there’s really nothing to be gained by it…..it won’t force a trade…or even force ownership to spend anything.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      Players are expected to make themselves available to the media. It’s part of their job.

      Most of them try their very best to avoid saying anything controversial, which is why we see so many tired cliches trotted out in most interviews like “give 110%” or “it’s not about me, it’s about the team.” Some don’t. Might be their personalities. Might be that they figure if they’re expected to answer questions they should actually answer questions instead of repeating platitudes.

      Why do they speak THROUGH the media? Because they’re tired of a situation. No, it won’t force a trade or ownership to spend money, but it might be a catalyst. And if it’s not, the worst case scenario is he’s in the same situation he was before. Low risk.

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        But even this is a cliche. I’m really not making a positive or negative comment on the situation…I will say that sometimes people expect our public athletic figures to possess the same level of intellectual and social prowess that they have on the field.

    • jhawk90 3 years ago

      exactly – Mauer did the same thing with the Twins (although more passive aggressive like a true Minnesotan) but enjoys his free time rolling around in coin and not exposed to the scrutiny other markets would have. Twins fans are left with “LOOK! We have the All-Star Game in ’14” while the GM and owners are happy with business as usual in the rotation. Nice work Twins – Comerica West in the early aughts, look it up.

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        I’m in the upper midwest myself…so yeah…I see your point. But, to be fair…rotations are extremely tricky to put together…and when there’s a preponderancy for soft tossing control starters…things can go south in a hurry when those pitchers don’t perform or get injured, because there’s not much room for error.
        The Twins certainly had a nice run…and I’m not sure they are as bad as what they appear. They’ve shown a solid ability in the past to develop from within.
        My big question when Target Field opened was whether having a great cash flow would change the organizational mindset. They had shown they could build a winner in the dome. I also wonder how much of an advantage the Dome played. It was truly a horrible baseball facility.
        I’m interested to see if we get the Twins Low A team relocated here for next season.

  14. Absolutely agree! Perez is one of the most honest and forthright athletes in professional sports. We need more guys like this.

  15. perez u should join the tiger we would be happy to have u here instead of valverde but thats also up to the indians and thereaasking price in the off season

  16. HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

    I can’t ever take Chris Perez seriously again after his vomit incident.

  17. Charley 3 years ago

    Didn’t he blast the Tiger’s earlier this year (when Cleveland was ahead in the division) about how they didn’t need to a huge payroll to win the division?

  18. RetroRob 3 years ago

    Pestano would make a nice closer. Make Perez the set-up man.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      Interesting to wonder if the Players Union would step in and if they would have any ground to stand on if they did.

      If Perez was ineffective it would be a relatively simple thing to explain, but he has done a nice job so it’s not about effectiveness. He’s still on the team, so it’s not about saving money. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for the Player’s Union to argue it was in retaliation for his comments and an attempt to hurt him by reducing his potential earnings in free agency (since a set up man earns less than a closer). The Indians would probably try to argue they needed to see whether or not Pestano was up to the job.

      Don’t know that they can really do anything about it either way, but it’s a thought I found interesting.

  19. Otis26 3 years ago

    Thanks for backing us up Chris. Regards, Marlins ownership.

  20. Ham3131 3 years ago

    I think a more accurate statement would be “spending money wisely”. Just spending money doesn’t guarentee’s anything in MLB or any professional sport. Mr. Illitch’s 2012 Detroit Tigers are a prime example. Although Prince Fielder was a nice offensive addition, Mr. Illitch and David Dombrowski, Tigers President and General Mangaer chose to ignore key areas (team defense, lack of consistent secondary RH hitting) that may cost this club a chance at the post season. They are a fundementally unsound club that has a hard time scoring runs (when they don’t hit 3 Run HR’s) because they have very little team speed, the inability to bunt in key situations and poorly run the bases. Also, their team defense, especially at the corners (1b, 3b, LF & RF depending on the lineup) have average to below average range, skill and/ or agility. This weakness undoubtedly undermines one of the greatlest strength this club posses, pitching. The last time I checked they were leading the AL in unearnded runs. Even if they do get into the post season this is not what I would call a sure fired recipe for success when things get tough. Especially when you need to manufacture a run or make a one run lead stand up. So again, even though the Tigers have the 5th highest payroll, I would not consider this an elite ball club that is getting full value for the money spent.

  21. Robb Logan 3 years ago

    I happen to agree with Perez on some (not all) of what he says about the cash. But it is not how much but how wisely you spend it. 10 mil for zero games to Sizemore or an offer to Willingham. They could have DFA’s the oft prone Pronk as well. The Indians ownership and GM created this monster. On the flip side it is not all about how much you do spend (see the Angels as a prime example) but again where you spend. I am an Angels fan and one of the very few who hated the Pujols signing. I still hate it even if he does bring a live bat and good mentality and leadership. The wise thing would have been bullpen help with that cash. For the Tribe the wise thing would be to spend on someone who does not spend 90% of the season on the DL and Sizemore was a gigantic gamble they failed on. Imagine where the tribe would be if they had instead sunk a few million on lets say Harang and Willingham. Chances are they would not be floating near the bottom and the price tag would not be all that different over Lowe/Sizemore.

  22. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    they cut out several repetitive portions of the transcript in which perez said over and over “am i wrong? am i wrong?

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