Just 24 hours after Oliver Perez elected to opt out of his minor league contract with the Yankees, the veteran lefty reliever signed a one-year deal with the Indians. The exact terms of the deal have yet to be reported.
There’s no question the Indians could benefit from another boost to their bullpen. According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Perez will be the 15th reliever to pitch for the club in 2018 (a fact that seems even crazier considering they used just 13 total relief pitchers in 2017), though there’s nothing to suggest he’ll be the last. The Indians’ relief corps currently ranks third-worst in the league with a collective 6.01 ERA and -0.7 fWAR.
Perez, 36, may not be the sub-3.00 ERA pitcher of years gone by, but he might yet have enough left in the tank to prove a valuable resource for the Indians. He recorded a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 through 33 innings with the Nationals last season and looked solid in his limited time with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, too. In 12 1/3 innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the left-hander turned in a 2.92 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 in 15 appearances.
In a corresponding move, fellow left-hander Jeff Beliveau was designated for assignment to clear roster space for Perez. The 31-year-old was utterly unreliable in his first nine games with the club this season, issuing six runs, five walks and two strikeouts over just 4 2/3 innings.