Embattled closer sent packing after more than four seasons.
Four recent moves have affected the Cleveland Indians look for 2014. The team made three of those moves, but a fourth was made by a pitcher opting out of his deal and becoming free agent.
Chris Perez will no longer be the closer for the Tribe or taunting Cleveland fans. The team released him. Perez was heading for his third year of arbitration. This isn’t the slightest bit shocking. There have been run-ins with Indians fans regarding attendance. Can’t forget the recent “issue” having some illegal stuff delivered to the home.
But the bottom line might be…money. At least that’s the impression I got from reading GM Chris Antonetti’s comment from the Akron Beacon Journal (courtesy Ohio.com).
Perez made $7.3MM this past season, and Antonetti said…
There are a lot of factors,” Antonetti said. “Because he is eligible for arbitration, Chris is due for another raise in that process.
The other issues I mentioned surely came into play on this decision., but we know the greenback talks loudest.
The option for Jason Kubel was simply declined by the club. Not the suspense or drama from the Perez transaction. Kubel would have made $7.5MM had the option been picked up, but there was no reason for the team to do so.
Kubel struggled both at the plate and with injuries this past season. After being moved from the Arizona Diamondback to Cleveland, Kubel only had 23 plate appearances and was 3-for-18 (.167 BA) in those appearances.
Jason Giambi agreed to a minor league deal about like the one prior to the 2013 season. Giambi made the most of his 17 pinch-hitting plate appearances. Going 3-for-14 (.214) may not sound enticing, but all three hits were home runs. That might be a tad more palatable. Plus, you can’t measure the leadership factor.
And then there’s the Ubaldo Jimenez “situation”. Jimenez opted out of $8MM – he held the option when he was traded from Colorado – and heads to free agency. Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra summed this up in one sentence.
Ubaldo Jimenez is no dummy.
Not one bit. Calcaterra also opines that since Jimenez saw the wad of dough Tim Lincecum received from the San Francisco Giants, Ubaldo should make out well in a weak starting pitcher free agent market. CBS Sports has Jimenez as their 7th ranked FA pitcher and Hardball Talk rates him as their #6 FA overall.