Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Indians and lefty reliever Rafael Perez avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $2,005,000 contract. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, he can earn an additional $25,000 if he makes 55 appearances this season.
Perez, who was arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter, requested $2.4 million and was offered $1.6 million from the Indians when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so the two sides settled just north of the midpoint. He remains under team control through 2013.
Perez, 33, has made at least 70 appearances in three out of the last four seasons. The veteran southpaw posted a 3.00 ERA over 63 innings in 2011, despite averaging a career-low 4.7 K/9.
Asdrubal Cabrera is the Indians’ only remaining arbitration-eligible player. He requested $5.2 million and was offered $3.75 million from the club when salary figures were exchanged last month.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.