Pitcher Oliver Perez has a $1.75 million salary while in the major leagues under his deal with the Cleveland Indians.
The 36-year-old left-hander signed with the Indians on Saturday and pitched in two games over the weekend, allowing two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings at Minnesota.
Cleveland has used 16 relievers this season and has the highest bullpen ERA at 6.02.
Perez has a $250,000 salary should he pitch in the minor leagues under the deal. In the majors, he can earn $650,000 in performance bonuses based on games: $50,000 each for 10, 15 and 20, and $100,000 apiece for 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45.
Perez opted out of a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees on Friday. He made 16 relief appearances for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 1-0 with a 2.57 earned run average. Perez allowed 17 hits and walked four, striking out 15 batters in 14 innings for the RailRiders, but allowing a .327 batting average by opponents.
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Indians manager Terry Francona hopes Perez is able to help the bullpen attack left-handed hitters, and take some pressure off Tyler Olson while Andrew Miller is on the disabled list.
“He’s been there and done it,” Francona said of Perez. “By all accounts he’s actually been throwing the ball pretty well and he’s healthy. So, add him to the mix and see if he can help us.”
Perez, 36, a native of Cullican, Mexico, is a 15-year veteran with stops in Pittsburgh, New York (NL), Seattle, Arizona, Houston and Washington. He owns a 69-86 career record and a 4.46 ERA in 552 appearances.
The Indians bullpen has been a mess this season, and signing the 36-year-old is certainly a sign of desperation. Perez will be the 15th relief pitcher used by Cleveland this year and we aren’t even at the halfway mark of the season. To put that into perspective, the Indians only used 13 the entire 2017 season.