The Indians announced Friday that they’ve re-signed left-handed reliever Oliver Perez. It’s a one-year contract with a vesting option for the 2020 season for the Scott Boras client. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Perez will be guaranteed $2.5MM (Twitter link). Perez has a $2.75MM club option that will automatically vest if he reaches 55 games pitched, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). The option can also vest at $3MM if he appears in 60 games.
Perez, 37, quietly enjoyed a surprising career renaissance with the Indians last season, working to a sparkling 1.39 ERA with 12.0 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 0.28 HR/9 and a 41.2 percent ground-ball rate in 32 1/3 innings of work. Perez’s workload in the Majors was limited by the fact that he opened the season with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate after agreeing to a minor league deal in hopes of rebuilding his stock. The opportunity to do so didn’t present itself with the Yankees, but Perez latched on with Cleveland on a big league deal in early June and firmly put himself back on the map as a viable bullpen option over the season’s final four months.
While one might think that Perez will serve as a left-handed specialist, as he has in the past, his dominance in 2018 should earn him opportunities regardless of opponent. Righties and lefties alike were utterly befuddled by Perez last year; he held left-handed opponents to a .194/.215/.274 slash, which is excellent but still pales in comparison to the comical .104/.218/.104 slash to which he limited righties.
It’s been a quiet offseason for Cleveland, with Perez somewhat incredibly representing their first Major League free-agent signing of the offseason. The Indians have been more active on the trade front, though they’ve dealt away more MLB talent (Yan Gomes, Yonder Alonso, Edwin Encarnacion) than they’ve acquired while also losing free agents Michael Brantley (to the Astros) and Cody Allen (to the Angels).
That makes for a puzzling offseason for a club that entered the winter widely expected to run away with its fourth straight division title in 2019. Cleveland may still be the favorites, but improvements by the Twins and White Sox alike will give the Tribe a tougher time in securing a division title — especially considering the lack of improvement this winter. Payroll issues, however, have been said to be a very real limitation in Cleveland after a franchise-record figure in 2018, and it doesn’t seem as if the team is poised to make any notable expenditures between now and Opening Day. All that said, if Perez is able to remotely approximate last season’s excellence, he’ll help to solidify a bullpen that was in dire need of augmentation.
Would of rather they spent that plus a million and have signed Astrubal to play 3B.
No way. Oliver will probably regress, but it’s a good risk to take based on his numbers last year.
Maybe try to get Asdrubal afterwards but Cleveland needs quality relievers more than a 2B/3B
The Indians need help in the bullpen and outfield more than the infield. Kipnis is an Indian and will play. He will be at 2B and Ramirez at 3B. I do not want to see Kipnis in the outfield.
I don’t want Kip in center but he could be ok in left.
But does he have the arm for corner OF?
Nope. He barely has the arm for 2B.
I wanted Asdrubal back too, but the bullpen needed a ton of help. Perez helps a lot more.
Kip is had a 2 WAR year despite his horrible play. Not worth the money but should be okay. I’m not surprised they are slow in the market right now. They have to wait until the top three players are off the board. After that, I think you will see some movement from the FO.
He’s shockingly good now what a strange second career he’s had
nothing would cease to amaze me at this point with Oliver. he is an oddity in this game of there’s ever been one.
Ryan Howard wasnt particularly successful against any left-handed pitcher, especially later in his career, but he once said he disliked facing Oliver Perez more than any other pitcher.
Good, low risk move for the Indians.
Happy for him, or any athlete that still has gas, and keeps it pumping.
OH, excuse the pun
That’s 1 reliever down still want at least 1 more reliever to help the back end. Outfield is probably the biggest need now.
probably the biggest need? easily one of the 3 worst OF in MLB right now. wtf are they waiting for? i cant believe they let Brantley go a team they will likely face in the playoffs at a bargain deal.
I say probably because as much as I like Perez we are still relying on a 37 year old to come back and be good for us again. Between his age and volatility of relief pitchers in general there is some risk and if he fails its back to square one. As for the outfield, yes it is very bad but that is looking at it from a narrow view.
Look at the team as a whole. Catcher, shortstop and center are generally defense first positions with average offense being a plus. Corner infield and outfield are normally good hitters preferably with power and 2nd is like short but less focus on defense and more on offense.
This team fits the traditional archetypes for players at catcher, center, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Yes Kip is over payed for 2 WAR but still that is not as horrible as people make it out to be. You would think he was a negative WAR the way they talk. The big difference for the Indians is they are getting production you would expect from a corner outfielder from Lindor and the production you would more expect from short stop out of the corner outfielders.
Not every position has to be a superstar or even well above average to win. The guys they have now are average but they could use at least 1 solid outfield addition. I know people will think I’m crazy for it but with everything the front office has said and done this winter I would be surprised if the Indians have not checked in on Harper and considering making a move for him. It definitely wouldn’t be a normal move by them but with all the cut payroll, the lack of a market for him and the obvious need it almost makes too much sense for a team that should be going all in right now.
you had me up until you said Harper lol. finally someone that uses logic and not the normal FO bashing “fans”
Oliver Perez should’ve been a Met. (Again)
Instead, Mets signed another southpaw Justin Wilson.
The Mets denied us a lot of laughs.
its funny the mets wanted to push him to the bullpen but he pouted and stomped his feet now he has 2nd career as a solid bullpen lefty.. Wonder if he ever thanked them lol.
I would have loved him back though but think it would have been awkward for both sides with everything that happened.
seems like a lifetime since Oliver was a starter…
2014 saw Scott Atchison have a career year with the Tribe. They rewarded him with a similar contract. 2015 saw Atchison flame out in less than 20 games pitched – will Perez? Indians fans have long known that there is a “governor on the motor” … after two years at or near $135M, it is pretty obvious that ownership was not in a position to maintain this payroll and now we are back to the “bottom feeding” approach. The OF has been a hot mess for over 6 years and it is pretty obvious that 2019 will see more “band aids” put on the team.
Would love to see the stats you’re pullling from to make that statement. There have been injuries and Tito like to platoon players. To say six years of it being a hot mess…
You have been watching this team, right? Aside from the oft-injured Michael Brantley, we have seen Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Bradley Zimmer, Greg Allen, Rajai Davis, Tyler Naquin, Marlon Byrd, Melky Cabrera and the like. The FO brought in Jay Bruce late in the 2017 season and he was a credible big league outfielder, but he signed back with the Mets in 2018 (and had a down year). IMO a big league outfielder should be able to to hit .270 with 20HR and drive in 80-90 runs. Aside from Brantley (who used his 2018 season to get a 2 year deal with the Astros), all of the above players fell short of this., The Tribe can develop infielders and pitchers, but has not been able to sign and develop outfielders.
Guys that hit .270 and hit 20 homers don’t just grow on trees. I agree that the Indians’ outfield is pretty bad, but if guys like that were so common then everyone would have them.
I struggle with your argument. Just because a guy can hit .270, 20 dingers and drive in 80 doesn’t make him a good player, it makes him a above average hitter. If you look at the overall player, including the WAR, you will get a better idea of how they are as a player and how they fit into the lineup. I agree there hasn’t been stability in the OF, but just throwing names out there doesn’t defend your statement.
Aren’t the Indians owned by a billionaire? Why can’t he spread (spend) a little love?
Time for a capital call!
Must be frustrating for Indians fans…..
Or frustrating for that rich owner to keep spending more money on a team that keeps earning less money because they’re not enough frustrated fans buying tickets.
Dolan a billionaire?
Scott Boras can buy and sell him 20 times over.
Julio Franco's Birth Certificate
Great move by Cleveland. Now get Boxberger and make Salazar the 8th inning guy and go wreck the AL (sorry for the Johnny Football quote).
Salazar will not be a late inning reliever, his arm would never hold up.
Julio Franco's Birth Certificate
Then why was he even tendered? It is only to be the setup guy and replacement closer if Hand goes down, otherwise, he has no value at $4.5M.
Francona has already said he’s not built for the bullpen. The guy is lucky to take the ball every 6th game you don’t want him warming up 3 out of every 4 games.
maybe the “objects in motion stay in motion” rule applies here with his arm.
I feel everyone’s pain regarding the Cleveland outfield. Seriously though – when you are feeling blue about it, go look up the outfield list from the AL champion 2016 Indians. Ode could be worse in Tribetown
Perez did it with duct tape and crazy glue so I expect a drop off, but I’m still glad they re-signed him as he was fantastic last year.
I like this even if he doesn’t produce.
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I have to say that this type of affordable pitcher on a one year deal is an example of where the Pirates management does not help their team.Stack these guys up and let them fight it out in spring training.Lyons was a good minor league sign but so was Seagrist last year and look how that turned out.NH needs to realize that small market teams need to continuously provide hope to their fans even in small ways.,and not just by conservative low ceiling signings.
I remember, as a kid, seeing him pitch for the Padres back in 2002 or 2003. He was awesome. So cool to see him still going strong.
Will he pitch till 50 unreal love Olly
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I think that he is a very talented pitcher .He was in the Brian Giles deal with Jason Bay and was one of the few good trades the Pirates made in that time period.
Perez had a very fine year in 2004 but went downshill some until he got a mega deal from the Mets.
That worked out like many mega deals.
He has been up and down since but it seems that some of the old talent is still there.