Indians and Rafael Perez avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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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.

Orioles “have begun fielding calls of interest” on Manny Machado

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”

You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.

Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.

Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.