“Look, [Chris] Perez is a fine pitcher, but he’s overrated. Plus, he’s getting expensive. My only fear is that the team really punted on getting a maximum return for him this past offseason.”

–Joe Werner, April, 2, 2013

Oops. Whether you’ve been paying attention to The Plain Dealer of late or not, you don’t need sportswriter Terry Pluto to convince you that Chris Perez will be shopped – and very likely moved – during the offseason. The Indians, according to Pluto, shopped their mercurial closer last offseason and reportedly found the market to be, well, “iffy.”

And that was before Perez was removed from the closer’s role following a several-week implosion down the stretch. Oh, yeah, he’s likely to get a raise – pushing his salary to somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million – during his final go round in arbitration.

Double oops.

If the front office thought the market was a little soft for Perez last year, then they shouldn’t be shocked to find it all but non-existent this offseason.

A quick peruse through the Major League rosters and there are probably only three potential landing spots for the club’s closer: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the (expected) retirement of legend Mariano Rivera, the Yankees will definitely be in need of some bullpen help. The New York ‘pen next season (thus far) consists of David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, Boone Logan, and reportedly Goose Gossage. Their need is obvious.

After flopping like a fish out of water for most of the season, the Angels realized their need for any type of pitching. The both the club’s starters and relievers posted the fifth worst ERA in baseball.

And the Pirates, who are still fighting in the playoffs, coaxed several career years out of players while posting the third lowest bullpen ERA in the game. But Jason Grilli is another year older, another season closer to 40. And does anyone expect Mark Melancon to post a 1.39 ERA over 71 innings next season?

If the Indians want to move Perez, and it certainly sounds like it, they’re going to need to kick in at least $5 million to get any type of return. And who knows? They might not even be able to give him away. After all, Perez has posted a 3.73 ERA with only decent peripherals since 2011 (8.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9).

My prediction: Perez and $6 million are sent to New York – never thought I’d write that – for a low B-type prospect.

7 Comments

  • Gvl Steve says:

    You predicted it. But why would the Indians throw away $6 million precious payroll dollars for a low prospect when they can non-tender Perez and let him walk? I don’t think they’ll take the chance of getting stuck with his outrageous salary next year by even offering arbitration.

  • Joseph Werner says:

    Shapiro, in some book I’ve read (maybe by Terry Pluto), has referred to it as “buying prospects.”

    You’re right, though, non-tendering him is a very distinct possibility.

  • The Doctor says:

    non-tendering perez could very well turn out to be a case of addition by subtraction.

    package perez and cabrera together in a deal for a few old gloves and some pine tar and i’d be happy.

    • Weston says:

      It’s funny you mention packaging Cabrera and Perez together. In hindsight, I cringe when imagining what we could have gotten for them last offseason, when their value was higher. It’s been bothering me all season. Considering they were both shopped, and both proceeded to lower their trade value considerably, it really hurts. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and we couldn’t predict such a crappy season for them. And with our luck, a traded Asdrubal probably has a career year or something.

  • medfest says:

    The market for all closers is small not just Perez.No one wants to pay relievers big bucks if they can help it.

    The market for Perez will be non existent.Who would give up anything for the right to go to arbitration and pay Perez at least what he made last season?

    Non tendering him is a foregone conclusion imho,it’s the only way they can come up with enough cash to try and resign Kazmir.
    Other teams will know this and won’t give up bupkis for him.

    • Peter says:

      I have to agree with you. It makes sense, but these guys will shop hard. Who knows what will happen? Trade our hard luck closer for their hard luck closer, hoping a change of scenery might spark the magic.

      • judd says:

        Right, let’s not forget that he was a two-time all-star and was reliable before the second half of this season. Fans here may hate him, but he’s not useless. He’s definitely over-priced and therefore will likely be non-tendered though.