Perez's 2020 team option vested to $3 million after he made his 60th appearance of the season in Sunday's 10-1 win over the Phillies.
The Tribe's decision to use Perez in a rather non-competitive game with contract incentives at stake adds support to the notion that the organization views the veteran lefty as a key bullpen piece heading into next season. Even at 38 years old, Perez has proven reliable against same-handed hitters, holding lefties to a meager .209/.277/.337 slash line this season.
Perez earned the final out during the ninth to record his first save of the season in a 7-5 victory against the Twins on Sunday.
One day after a doubleheader, the Indians called upon Perez to face the left-handed hitting Eddie Rosario, who already had two homers in the game, with two outs in the ninth, and Perez needed just two pitches to get Rosario to pop out in foul ground. Perez has 21 holds this season but this save opportunity was his first of the year, and it likely only came because of all the work the bullpen received Saturday. He is 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 38.2 innings across 62 appearances.
Perez retired one of the two batters he faced and was credited with a hold Tuesday in the Indians' 9-5 win.
Perez has earned a hold in each of his last three outings and is now up to nine on the season. The Indians have largely been deploying Perez as a situational lefty, with only 12 of his 35 appearances consisting of an inning or longer.
Perez signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Indians on Friday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Perez spent the early part of 2018 with the Yankees on a minor-league deal before joining the Indians in June, and he then produced the best numbers of his career. The 37-year-old had a 1.39 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 43:7 K:BB over 32.1 innings and appeared in 51 games as he was often deployed in a situational role -- though he did hold righties to a .104/.218/.104 slash line in 55 plate appearances. Brad Hand is set to take over as closer for the Indians, but the rest of the bullpen remains largely in flux with the departures of Cody Allen and Andrew Miller in free agency.
Perez signed a major-league contract with the Indians on Saturday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
Perez has found a home in another American League bullpen just a day after being released by the Yankees. The Indians designated Jeff Beliveau for assignment to open up a spot on the 25-man roster, and Perez should join his new teammates in short order after posting a 2.57 ERA and a 3.00 FIP over 14 frames with the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate this season.
Perez was cut by the Yankees on Friday, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
Perez agreed to a minor-league deal with New York on March 31, and he'll be let go after appearing in 17 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He posted a 1.73 ERA and 1.54 WHIP with 16 strikeouts and 18 walks over 26 innings.
Perez signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on Saturday, Marc Carig of The Athletic New York reports.
Perez will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and serve as organizational pitching depth for the Yankees. The veteran reliever was cut by the Reds last week after struggling this spring. Even if Perez pitches his way to the major-league bullpen, he would be limited to low-leverage situations in the Yankees' loaded bullpen.
Perez was released by the Reds on Thursday, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic Cincinnati reports.
Perez was looking to lock down a bullpen spot as an NRI, but a brutal spring prompted the Reds to cut him loose instead. Given his prior major-league experience, Perez could draw some interest.
Perez gave up three runs on two hits, including a home run, and a walk in his one inning of work Thursday, seeing his ERA balloon up to 19.29 this spring.
Perez is trying to win a bullpen spot as an NRI and failing miserably so far. Based on the results this spring, the veteran lefty could be reaching the end of his career.
Perez signed a minor-league contract with the Reds on Saturday which includes an invitation to spring training, John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Perez will get a chance to compete for an Opening Day role in the Reds' bullpen as a lefty specialist, a job he figures to have a leg up on entering camp given his previous big-league experience. In 50 appearances out of the Nationals' bullpen in 2017, the 36-year-old posted a middling 4.64 ERA and 1.33 WHIP across 33 innings, though he once again registered a double-digit strikeout rate (10.6 K/9) while compiling 12 holds.
Perez owns an ERA of 4.06 through 31 innings pitched with the Nationals this year.
Perez hasn't seen much work lately, pitching in only 16 of his team's last 60 games. Over that stretch, he has a solid ERA of 3.65 and a K/9 of 11.7. His role right now seems to be more of a left-handed specialist, and he will be used in low-leverage innings as the season draws to a close.
Perez has given up nine runs on 18 hits with 22 strikeouts through 18 innings this season.
Working mostly as a left-handed specialist, Perez's struggles have come when he's faced opposite-handed hitters. Right-handed batters are hitting .321 against him and have only struck out seven times in 30 plate appearances. Meanwhile, lefties are only averaging .214 while striking out 15 times out of 47 attempts.
Perez struck out the only hitter he faced Monday against the Dodgers to pick up his first save of 2017.
Perez entered Monday with two career saves through 14-plus MLB seasons (both of which came in 2013 with Seattle). The veteran became the sixth Nationals reliever to record a save this season, but owners shouldn't be racing to the waiver wire. Perez was brought on to face the switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal, who's hit just .171 off southpaws this season.
Perez has given up 13 hits through 9.1 innings pitched.
The Nationals haven't entrusted Perez with much playing time this year, and Perez has given them no reason to change that. Opposing hitters are batting .333 against the former starter and that number increases to .403 on balls put in play, which have both played a role in Perez's sky-high ERA of 5.79.
Perez has yielded three runs over 2.1 innings to start this season in two appearances.
Despite the small sample size, Perez's FIP has skyrocketed to 6.79 and his WHIP sits at 1.71. The 34-year-old primarily serves as a lefty specialist these days, and he's coming off a 4.95 ERA with 46 strikeouts over 40 innings last season.
Perez heads into 2017 as the top LOOGY in the Nationals' bullpen.
Sammy Solis could see more high-leverage situations, but manager Dusty Baker is more likely to use Solis for a full inning, and turn to Perez when he needs to retire one specific left-handed hitter. The 35-year-old wasn't quite as dominant against same-side hitters last season as he's been in the past, but still allowed just a .227/.337/.384 slash line against them in 2016 with a 25.5 percent strikeout rate.
Perez (back) was deemed available for Tuesday's game by manager Dusty Baker, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.
The lefty hasn't pitched in nearly a week due to lingering back stiffness, but evidently he showed enough on the side in recent days to gain clearance from the training staff. Perez has racked up 12 holds this year but has earned just two holds since the All-Star break, the last of which came back on July 28.
Perez has been unavailable recently due to back stiffness, and Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports suggests he could be placed on the disabled list if he is not available Monday.
Perez hasn't pitched since Aug. 17 and allowed five earned runs over 1.1 innings in his last two appearances. The back may have played a role in those struggles, and it sounds as though the Nationals may make some kind of move Monday that requires an additional 25-man roster spot. If that's the case, Perez could be a candidate to go on the disabled list.
Perez (2-1) was awarded the win against the Mets after pitching two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout in the top of the sixth Tuesday.
Perez got in the game early after starter Lucas Giolito was limited to four innings by a rain delay, and got the victory thanks to Giolito's ineligibility. The win was all the more sweet coming against his former team, but don't expect the unusual circumstances surrounding this decision to repeat themselves any time soon.
Perez is 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA after pitching 14.1 innings across 21 games.
Brought on for his ability to retire left-handed batters, Perez has been able to deliver for the Nationals. When against lefties, he has an opponent batting average of just .111 and a 1.00 ERA. However, it's not often that he throws more than an inning, largely due to his struggles against right-handed batters. His 6.75 ERA and 1.88 WHIP against righties makes Perez a liability in certain scenarios, but his efficiency against lefties should be enough to keep him on board to make frequent (yet brief) appearances.
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