The Indians search for bullpen help continues, as Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the club has signed lefty Oliver Perez to a major league deal. The club has designated fellow left-hander Jeff Beliveau for assignment in a corresponding move.
The Yankees released Perez from his minors contract just yesterday; as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd pointed out at that time, he’d received a June 1st opt-out date in his contract with the club due to his status as an Article XX(B) free agent. Perez struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings while walking 3.9 across the past two seasons with the Washington Nationals, and the Indians will hope he can serve as another reliable lefty reliever behind Tyler Olson while former ALCS MVP Andrew Miller rehabs a knee issue.
As Bastian aptly pointed out, Perez will end up being the 15th relief pitcher used by the Indians this season, whereas they only used 13 relievers for the entirety of 2017 (position players and starters coming out of the bullpen excluded). Those relievers have combined to post an ERA north of 6, good for the worst mark in the majors. While it would be silly to think that Perez can have a significant impact on that figure, he’s got a long resume of effective performance against same-handed hitters. On the whole, he’s limited those lefties to a .228/.318/.365.
In any case, that makes him an upgrade over Beliveau, who’s at times seemed incapable of getting any outs at all. Beliveau’s got a gargantuan ERA of 11.57 this season, and remarkably, his FIP suggests he’s been lucky to have posted even that figure. Of course, this all comes in a 4 2/3 inning sample size, but Indians fans will surely be glad to see Beliveau replaced in the bullpen regardless.