Former Indians closer Chris Perez has opted out of his Minor League pact with the Brewers, reports MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy (on Twitter). With the decision, Perez is again a free agent, so the CAA client will be able to field offers from any of the 29 other clubs.
Perez, still just 29, struggled a great deal in his six appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. In 7 2/3 innings, he allowed eight runs (9.39 ERA) on 14 hits (one homer) with an unsightly 3-to-4 K/BB ratio.
Over the past two big league seasons, Perez saw his stock drop considerably, posting a combined 4.31 ERA in 100 1/3 innings between Cleveland and the Dodgers. That mark lines up in a near-perfect manner with his 4.32 xFIP in that time, although FIP (which doesn’t normalize his homer-to-flyball ratio as xFIP does) feels that his ERA should’ve been a bit north of 5.00. In those 100 1/3 innings, Perez averaged 8.3 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9, though it’s worth noting that he did rediscover his previously diminished velocity in 2014, averaging 94.2 mph on his heater.
From 2010-12, Perez was a serviceable ninth-inning arm for Cleveland, pitching to a 2.84 ERA (138 ERA+) with 7.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 180 1/3 frames. That strikeout rate isn’t as high as one would hope to see out of a shutdown closer, though it’s skewed by what appears to have been a fluky 5.9 K/9 in 2011. Perez’s relative youth, velocity and 133 career saves should allow him to latch on with another club in spite of his 2015 struggles at the Triple-A level.