The Los Angeles Dodgers are have agreeed to a one-year contract with reliever Chris Perez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times first reported last night that the two sides were closing in on a deal, which is pending a physical. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the deal is worth $2.3 million in guaranteed money, and Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register notes that it can reach $6 million in incentives if Perez is the team's setup man or $8 million if he is the closer.
Perez, 28, was released by the Indians in October after struggling both on-and an off-the-field in 2013. In addition to posting a 4.33 ERA in 56 games for the Tribe last season, he was arrested in June for having marijuana shipped to his home under his dog's name. He pleaded no contest to those charges and was fined.
Perez met with teams in-person at the Winter Meetings in Orlando earlier this month in an effort to re-establish his image, and the Mets reportedly had interest before the Dodgers emerged as the favorite. The Orioles, who are looking for late-inning relief help after their deal with Grant Balfour was nixed after he failed his physical, were never considered a serious option for Perez.
With Kenley Jansen as closer and Brian Wilson earning $10 million as the setup man, Perez will likely pitch in middle relief for the Dodgers next season. He was the Indians' primary closer for the last four seasons, totaling 123 saves while being selected to two AL All-Star teams in that span. For his career with the Cardinals (2008-2009) and Indians (2009-2013), Perez has a lifetime 15-21 record with a 3.41 ERA and 132 saves in 344 career appearances. His best season came in 2010, when he notched 23 saves while posting a 1.71 ERA in 63 innings of work.
If Perez can regain the form that led him to being one of the most dominant relievers in baseball from 2010 to 2012, he will be a valuable addition to an already-strong Dodgers' bullpen.