The Dodgers are closing in on a one-year contract with former All-Star closer Chris Perez, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been finalized. Financial terms of the prospective deal aren’t known.
Perez, 28, was an All-Star with the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and 2012 but was released Oct. 31. Perez was arrested on marijuana charges this year and lost his job as the Indians’ closer.
Armed with a fastball routinely clocked in the mid- to high 90s, Perez figures to be a late-inning reinforcement in a bullpen that includes closer Kenley Jansen and setup man Brian Wilson. From Perez’s perspective, the short-term deal will allow him to reestablish his value and reenter the free-agent market next off-season.
Perez saved 123 games over the last four seasons, including a career-high 39 in 2012. He converted 25 of 30 save opportunities in 2013, but his earned-run average was a career-worst 4.33. He was sidelined for a month early in the season because of a sore shoulder and replaced as the Indians’ closer for the final three games.
Perez was an outspoken and sometimes controversial figure in Cleveland, where he pitched for five seasons. He criticized the city’s fans for what he called their tepid support and took jabs at the team’s ownership and front office.
Perez made headlines in June when he was arrested and accused of shipping marijuana to his rental home in his dog’s name. He pleaded no contest in September to misdemeanor drug abuse and was put on probation for a year, according to news reports.
All six of the Dodgers’ domestically based minor league affiliates will have new managers next season.
The makeover was the byproduct of two significant moves: triple-A manager Lorenzo Bundy was promoted to major league third base coach and double-A manager Jody Reed joined the New York Yankees as a field coordinator.
Here are the Dodgers’ managerial assignments: triple-A Albuquerque, Damon Berryhill; double-A Chattanooga, Razor Shines; Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, P.J. Forbes; Class-A Great Lakes, Bill Haselman; rookie Ogden, Lee Tinsley; rookie Arizona, John Shoemaker.