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Indians extend Roberto Perez through 2020

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The Indians signed catcher Roberto Perez to a four-year extension through 2020, the club announced on Saturday. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that the extension is worth $9 million guaranteed and includes club options for the 2021 and 2022 seasons that would bring the total to $21.5 million.

Perez, 28, is the tenth Indians player to sign an extension with the team this spring. He shouldered catching duties alongside primary backstop Yan Gomes in 2016, contributing down the stretch after missing 11 weeks with a fractured right thumb. His value is almost exclusively derived from his defensive performance, as he set new career lows at the plate last year with a .183/.285/.294 batting line and three home runs in 184 PA. Perez bounced back in the postseason, however, hitting three decisive home runs in the ALDS and World Series and assuming full-time responsibilities behind the dish while Gomes recovered from a lingering shoulder injury.

Per Bastian, Perez is slated to receive a $500,000 signing bonus and will work his way up to $7 million in 2022 if both of his options are exercised. The full breakdown of his projected salary is below:

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.