Dodgers Sign Chris Perez

TUESDAY, 1:47pm: The Dodgers confirmed the deal via press release.

"Chris expressed an interest in coming here and pitching in any role Don asks of him,” said Colletti. “We see him adding depth and experience to our bullpen and while Kenley [Jansen] and Brian [Wilson] will close games, we play so many tight games that we couldn’t pass up the chance to add another reliever who has experienced success in the 7th, 8th and 9th inning. It’s a great opportunity for both Chris and the Dodgers."

MONDAY, 7:44pm: Perez's base salary will be $2.3MM, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets.

7:16pm: Perez will make a base salary of around $2.25MM, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. The deal is also heavy on incentives, and Fletcher notes Perez might be able to make up to about $6MM in a setup role, or $8MM if he becomes the Dodgers' closer.

10:18am: The Dodgers and free agent right-hander Chris Perez are in agreement on a one-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Perez will take his physical today, according to Rosenthal. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times first reported last night that the Dodgers were nearing a deal with Perez, who is represented by Nez Balelo of CAA Sports.

Perez-Chris

The 28-year-old Perez looked to be on his way to another strong season with the Indians in 2013, having gone 17-for-19 in save opportunities and pitched to a 2.52 ERA with a 30-to-13 K/BB ratio through his first 35 2/3 innings. However, Perez unraveled in an Aug. 5 outing that saw him surrender four earned runs without recording an out. He would go on to allow 16 earned runs over his final 18 1/3 innings with the Indians.

Because he was projected to earn as much as $9MM via arbitration this winter, the Indians made the decision to release him shortly after season's end rather than pay him that lofty salary. Instead, Indians GM Chris Antonetti elected to bring in John Axford on a one-year, $4.5MM pact.

Perez's salary and on-field performance may not have been the only contributing factor to that decision. He also plead no contest to drug charges after he and his wife had a small package of marijuana shipped to their home. He also spoke out against the Indians' lack of spending on the free agent market following the 2012 season.

Despite those issues, there's no denying that Perez has the ability to succeed in a late-inning role for the Dodgers. From 2010-12, Perez served as Cleveland's primary stopper, posting a 2.84 ERA with 98 saves, 7.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. That strikeout rate is a bit misleading, as it's weighed down by an abnormally low 5.9 K/9 in 2011. Perez whiffed rougly a batter per inning in both 2010 and 2012, and he's averaged 8.7 punchouts per nine innings in his career as a whole.

Perez will likely slot into the seventh inning for the Dodgers, given the presence of Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen at the back-end of the bullpen. J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Brandon League and Chris Withrow will round out manager Don Mattingly's relief corps in 2014.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


99 Responses to Dodgers Sign Chris Perez Leave a Reply

  1. Patrick Tuck 2 years ago

    I like the sign, but coming from a Braves fan, I wish we would have looked at him. I do not see him as a closer anymore. More of an seventh or eighth inning reliever.

    • taking bellissrios role

    • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

      As also an Atlanta fan, no thanks he wasn’t needed.

      • Patrick Tuck 2 years ago

        He was coming of a down year and would have taken a good salary cut when signed with another team. Atlanta is looking for more bullpen depth, I was just surprised I did not hear the Braves interested in him.

    • Fernando 2 years ago

      As an Indians fan, I can tell you Perez is in no way cut out to be a setup man. He earned the nickname “Cardiac Chris”. Watching him close was scary enough. I would not want him coming into the game in high leverage situations. You need to save your best relievers for those situations.

  2. Ausome7 2 years ago

    Could someone tell me the connection between the dodgers and has-been closers?

  3. Seth Guttman 2 years ago

    What is Chris Perez THINKING! Not only won’t he be the closer OR the 2nd closer option with the Dodgers but he might not even be the THIRD!

    • Knockdown 2 years ago

      Re-establishing his value

      • Seth Guttman 2 years ago

        But wouldn’t you go to re-establish value with a team with a less crowded bullpen? I think this is a more of a trying to win a championship move than that.

      • dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

        Exactly. If he pitches well in a set up role for a successful team, then he stands a good chance to go back out on the open market in a year and sign as a closer.

        He’s only 28 so this definitely looks like he’s taking a 1 yr deal to rehab his value.

        • Seth Guttman 2 years ago

          But he won’t be the set up man on the Dodgers since that job is already Brian Wilson’s. The bullpen is so crowded he may not get the innings he needs to get a nice deal next off-season.

          • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            Don’t count on it. Bullpens can get really stressed when closers and setup men have to be used on consecutive days. Also consider that Wilson seemed to attract quite a bit of interest after only a few weeks of work with the Dodgers.

          • PoseyTheGreat 1 year ago

            You are somehow expecting that Wilson will have an injury free season.

      • dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

        Exactly. If he pitches well in a set up role for a successful team, then he stands a good chance to go back out on the open market in a year and sign as a closer.

        He’s only 28 so this definitely looks like he’s taking a 1 yr deal to rehab his value.

    • 0vercast 2 years ago

      Pitching 60-75 innings out of the ‘pen for an elite contender, earning many millions of dollars, and reestablishing his value in the NL in a reduced-pressure role…this man has clearly lost his mind.

  4. He’ll likely be slotted behind Jansen and Brian Wilson

  5. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    I’m guessing they are giving him good money. You would think Perez would have signed with a team where he has a better chance of closing

  6. derail76 2 years ago

    Say what you will about the Dodgers collecting “has been” closers.. But remember that the Dodgers have arguably the best closer in the Majors anchoring it down. Keep in mind, they also have one of the best starting staffs in all of baseball without a Price or Tanaka acquisition. When you have 5 starters capable of pitching into the seventh, and you can run out 4 guys that have been successfull MLB closers, you’re looking pretty good. And with guys like Withrow, Elbert, Paco, Dominguez, and maybe even a Chad Billingsley.. This Dodger bullpen could very well be the best in baseball, outside of maybe the Cardinals. Now.. Shall we talk about that Dodger lineup?

    • The_Painter 2 years ago

      I thought Kimbrel was the best closer?

      • derail76 2 years ago

        Thats why I said arguably. The two of them are pretty close.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

          Not a very close argument, Kimbrel all the way! Kimbrel 5 more IP 17 ER less (that is 30% less runs), 77 more save (139 v 62). Kimbrel is running against Mariano Rivera for best closer ever not Jansen for best closer now!

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Mariano Rivera is retired.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

            I know! Best closer now=active players. Best closer ever=all players, active, retired, dead ect.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Ok I get what you’re saying. Kimbrel has a long long long ways to go before being mentioned with Mo as the best closer ever.

          • FS54 2 years ago

            they got you derailed good from your original point.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Seriously.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Seriously.

          • The_Painter 2 years ago

            Doesn’t matter he’s still the best closer ever.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            No argument here on Mo being best ever. I totally agree with that.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Mariano Rivera is retired.

          • ChaseCrewDad 2 years ago

            Whoa! Might want to hold that comment for a few more years. Even being the Yankee hater that I am, Kimbrel is not in the same league as Mo simply because he’s only been closing for 3 years. If Kimbrel is still pitching lights out in 2023, THEN he may be considered in the same league as Mo.

          • bandits33 2 years ago

            And even then, his current playoff usage does not forecast a Mo-like postseason resume.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            If you’re going off of era, I’m done with you.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Kimbrel has also been a pitcher his whole career as I understand it. Kenley was a catcher 4 years ago.

          • FS54 2 years ago

            seriously dude. I think closers are overrated but kimbrel has not been in the league long enough for Mo comparisons.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

            Well then who are you going to compare him to? Hard to find any other relievers with remotely similar stats

          • FS54 2 years ago

            It may not be the best way but check similarity score comparison at BBref. First name mentioned is Kenley.

          • FS54 2 years ago

            It may not be the best way but check similarity score comparison at BBref. First name mentioned is Kenley.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

            Well then who are you going to compare him to? Hard to find any other relievers with remotely similar stats

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Alright then.. Compare Mo’s pitch to Kenleys. They both throw one of the nastiest cutters you’ll ever see.

          • FS54 2 years ago

            Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of seeing Kenley yet. I have seen Mo’s cutter only once (or so I like to remember as an Ichiro fan) when Ichiro hit a 2-run walk-off HR off of it.

          • Sean Casey 2 years ago

            Fangraphs did an article comparing Kenley and Kimbrel with GIFs and Kenleys cutter is mistaken for a slider in the comments section, it’s nasty. Grantland also did an article with Kenley GIFs praising his cutter. He uses it almost exclusively and was able to sit down 27 batters in a row last year because of that cutter.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            It looks like a slider, but it’s a 96 mph cutter. GAS!

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Those 27 consecutive outs.. I remember that. Thats what fueled his 2nd half. Those 2nd half numbers are videogame numbers. They look unreal.

          • In about 10 years Kimbrel can have Mo comparisons if he makes it that long.

          • Sean Casey 2 years ago

            2013 stats: Kenley WHIP .861, SO/BB 6.17 HR/9 .7. Kimbrel WHIP .881, SO/BB 4.90 HR/9 .5. These are the stats you should be using to evaluate relief pitchers. Not bad for a guy who started pitching in 2009.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            38% K rate for both pitchers. FIP 1.93 Kimbrel 1.99 Jansen, X-FIP 1.95 Kimbrel 2.06 Jansen. Jansen got 84% of his K’s with his cutter. Kimbrel got 58% with his fastball. Kimbrel has his curve too. So maybe Kimbrel is the better pitcher, but Kenleys not far behind. Greg Holland should be in this convo also. My point wasn’t to argue closers though. It was to say that the Perez signing adds a significant piece to one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball.

          • Jim Taylor 2 years ago

            Completely agree. Some of these other individuals are arguing using “saves”, at which point most of use should not take them seriously.

          • Jim Taylor 2 years ago

            Your argument is flawed. Saves are meaningless. They belong in the category with “unicorns”. xFIP suggest they are closer than you think. Jansen was at 2.06 and Kimbrel was at 1.95. They were both worth about 2.2 WAR. Seems like derail in back on track.

        • The_Painter 2 years ago

          Dude, Kimbrel broke a system used to project arbitration salaries, can the same be said about Jansen?

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Put their numbers next to each other. They are very comparable. I didn’t come here to argue who the best closer in baseball is. Even if Kimbrel is better, Kenley is still right up there. I really don’t see how Kimbrels breaking a system for arbitration salaries confirms your argument.

          • Tko11 2 years ago

            You don’t have to argue, everyone in their right mind knows its Kimbrel.

          • vtadave 2 years ago

            Most less homerish Dodgers fans like myself would agree. Kimbrel over Jansen.

          • Sean Casey 2 years ago

            Really? Are they that much different? Last year it looked like Jansen out performed Kimbrel. Their stats are about as close as you can get in every important category. I won’t spend time arguing against Kimbrel because he’s one of my favorite players but Jansen deserves to be mentioned in the discussion as the best closer in baseball. Clearly Kimbrel and Kenley are a cut above the rest when it comes to K’s, I’d argue Kenley has more value going forward based solely on his newness to pitching and his 6 foot 5 frame and he also has the best pitch between the two. Kenley was one of the big reasons the Dodgers pen was so good. Imagine if he gets a second big league plus pitch, that new slider is coming along nicely.

          • Tko11 2 years ago

            How exactly does being new to pitching make him more valuable in the future?? They both pitched 4 seasons in the majors and pretty much the same amount of innings. Theres a difference of 5 innings, Kimbrel has 34 more K’s. Kimbrel has only given up 35 ER in that time compared to Jansen’s 52.

            Kimbrel is younger. He has dominated every single year he has pitched. Has been worth 9.7 WAR in 4 seasons compared to Jansen’s 6.7. If you think personal accolades mean anything then Kimbrel won ROY and placed 9th,5th,4th in CY Young voting. He also has been to 3 Allstar games while Jansen has been to none.

            Now don’t get me wrong I would love to have either one of them on my team but Kimbrel has been and is the better pitcher.

          • Sean Casey 2 years ago

            Jansen’s newness to pitching projects more future potential for improvement. Come on this is common sense. Kimbrel and Jansen will both be entering their age 26 seasons. Kimbrel’s advantage, like most of the ones he holds, are slight. If you think Jansen and Kimbrel aren’t neck and neck than you need to stop counting awards and start counting K’s. ERA is more relevant for a RP than All Star game and ROY but you already know that if you come to this site.

          • derail76 2 years ago

            Put their numbers next to each other. They are very comparable. I didn’t come here to argue who the best closer in baseball is. Even if Kimbrel is better, Kenley is still right up there. I really don’t see how Kimbrels breaking a system for arbitration salaries confirms your argument.

    • CDADodgers 2 years ago

      The lineup on any given day is pretty deep. Crawford, Puig, Hanley, A-gon, Kemp, Guerrero, Uribe, A. Ellis, pitcher. Ethier, Van Slyke as your power bats off the bench. Add another veteran bat and you’ve got a strong offense.

  7. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    Some teams use a closer by committee approach, the Dodgers go for the committee of closers approach!

    • dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

      I think Jansen will be the primary closer, but when he’s worked too many days in a row, then they can go to Brian Wilson or maybe Paco Rodriguez.

      I think Perez slots into a 6th and 7th inning guy, along with Withrow and Howell.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

        I would think so.. still funny that Dodgers have more closers in the pen than most teams have in their whole organization.

        • derail76 2 years ago

          I don’t think the other teams in MLB are laughing.

    • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

      Dodgers setting themselves up for a Howie Kendrick walkoff bunt in the annual Freeway Series…

    • meep 2 years ago

      why would the dodgers need to go closer by committee. you know most of the time teams do that when they dont have one solid closer. however the dodgers do and his name is jansen. wilson or perez will close when jansen cant

  8. BRANDON 2 years ago

    Brian Wilson and now Chris Perez? The Dodger pen is full of crazies

    • I Want My Bird 2 years ago

      Yea well they tried to find choir boys who could throw 95, and it didn’t work out.

    • thegrayrace 2 years ago

      Belisario was probably more crazy than Perez, so no crazier than last season…

  9. Building a perfect bullpen is partially luck given how much they tend to fluctuate. The Dodgers have the money though so it’s hard to think of this as anything other than a good move.

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      So any move a team with money makes is a good move simply because they can afford it?

      • David Stephens 2 years ago

        no, but it isn’t a bad move because it won’t burden them if it flops, but has a good deal of upside potential. could be the next Koji Uehara in that Wilson and Jansen could get hurt especially Wilson.

      • David Stephens 2 years ago

        no, but it isn’t a bad move because it won’t burden them if it flops, but has a good deal of upside potential. could be the next Koji Uehara in that Wilson and Jansen could get hurt especially Wilson.

      • On a one year deal like this, yes. I don’t know what the dollar amount is yet, but I doubt it’ll be that much. The Dodgers are an anomaly while the Yankees fool around with the luxury tax. They’re a rich team spending money to get better. If funds aren’t really an issue, then what’s the problem?

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      So any move a team with money makes is a good move simply because they can afford it?

  10. rossington 2 years ago

    This bullpen might be the best in the league. If Perez can be what he was in Cleveland this will be a steal.

  11. meep 2 years ago

    what a nice pick up, dodgers will have a solid pen if don can use this pitchers right

  12. meep 2 years ago

    if perez wanted to be a closer or set up man you know he could of sign some where else. however he didnt and reason i think he sign with the dodgers is because he seen what they can do with pitchers like him. just look at carlos marmol 5.86 ERA with the cubs,2.53 ERA with the dodgers also a lower whip and higher k rate

    • MilkMeMore 2 years ago

      sometimes you say smart things, but most of the time I’m just face palming

  13. RyanWKrol 2 years ago

    Stacking it up in the pen. Not a high risk. Doubt it will hurt them if he struggles. This can re-establish Perez’s value.

  14. Edictor27 2 years ago

    I like the pen its pretty decent. having former closers in their bullpen will be good. if jansen has a few rough outings they can have former closers with experience ready to close out games

    • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

      I find it hard to get excited about any bullpen in December or January.. Way to many things go right and wrong between now and next season and the start of postseason.. Heck teams remake their bullpens on the fly.. Just a few minor tweaks to a pen can change it from a mediocre pen to championship quality..

  15. Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

    Guess Perez can get his 420 from TJ now being so close by. Maybe SD would have been to obvious of a place to play.

  16. Blake 2 years ago

    Wow, good signing. Got him cheap. Excellent bullpen arm for that price. I might as well ticket the Dodgers for the NL West title right now.

  17. bernbabybern 2 years ago

    Wilson and Perez, that’s one crazy bullpen.

  18. Alex 2 years ago

    What A Nasty Bullpen

  19. NimbusStev 2 years ago

    Good riddance. He had quite a bit of success in Cleveland, but he was clearly never happy there. Indians fans didn’t like him, and he didn’t like them. He has some good stuff when he’s in the zone though, so I wish him all the best in LA.

  20. dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

    Perez provides another bullpen arm with closing experience.

    Just because he’s not brought into the 8th inning doesn’t mean he won’t be used for important situations earlier in the game.

    Signing Perez is all about building depth in the pen. If the Dodgers can get him right, it deepens the pen and shortens the game that much more for them.

  21. Puig Power 2 years ago

    I understand it. It makes the Dodgers better.

  22. David Stephens 2 years ago

    I agree it is a good signing and it really strengthens the pen but come on we can’t use closing experience as a justification, that is useless. closers are made not born.

  23. BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean. The concept of “closing experience” might be overrated, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the Perez pickup. All we need to know is that Perez was good enough to be the door-slammer for Cleveland, and if he can recover to that level of effectiveness that the Dodgers get a quality arm that they can use whenever it is needed.

  24. dieharddodgerfan 2 years ago

    The point I was making is he’s used to pitching in high stress, relief situations.
    Its nice to have relief pitchers who have had success in those types of situations.
    Granted, he struggled a bit the 2nd half of last year, but if the Dodgers can help him regain his form, he should be a decent set up guy.

  25. Sean Casey 2 years ago

    So he won’t get saves?. Closer and set up man titles are for fans. I don’t believe the last 3 outs are usually the hardest and I think some front offices feel the same way. If he puts up good K’s, BB’s, HR/9 and H/9 a smart baseball team will pay him handsomely.

  26. vtadave 2 years ago

    Who was willing to pay him to close? No one.

  27. Sean Casey 2 years ago

    K’s and walks aren’t good stats on judging relief pitchers? Says only you.

  28. Tribe82 1 year ago

    Maybe Perez was a “door slammer” 2 seasons ago. You now have a guy who gives up at least 1 HR every other outing. Jose Valverde 2.0.

  29. PoseyTheGreat 1 year ago

    It only makes the Dodgers better if he returns to form. If not, then it doesn’t make the Dodgers better.

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