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Indians release Perez, resign Giambi, make trade for Hynes

Indians release Perez, resign Giambi, make trade for Hynes
October 31, 2013
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The Cleveland Indians today announced a flurry of moves on the first official day of the 2013-2014 offseason.

The biggest move was the announcement that right-handed pitcher Chris Perez was given his unconditional release. He was 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 54 relief appearances in 2013, and in 54.0 innings allowed 56 hits, 11 home runs, 21 walks and had 54 strikeouts. He was also 25-for-30 in save opportunities and leaves the Indians with 124 career saves.

While Perez has done a nice job converting saves, the Indians could no longer handle his high wire act. For a few million that is fine, but considering he was entering his final year of arbitration and scheduled to make around $9 million the cost was just not justified. He has also become a bit of a public relations problem the last two years by calling out fans for poor attendance on Twitter and his recent issues with the law. He is now a free agent and can sign with any team.

The Indians also announced that they have acquired left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes from the San Diego Padres for cash considerations.  Hynes, 28, spent the first half of the 2013 season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson where he went a combined 2-0 with 4 saves and a 1.52 ERA in 41 relief appearances (47.1 IP, 43 H, 11R/8ER, 2 BB, 58 SO, 1 HR) and limited left-handed batters to a .147 average (11-for-75, 35 K) while averaging 11.0 K/9 with just 2 walks in 47.1 innings.

Hynes was with San Diego for the entire second half of the season, his first career taste of Major League action, recording a 9.00 ERA in 22 relief outings (17.0 IP, 25 H, 17R/ER) while limiting left-handed Major League batters to a .156 average (5-for-32).  He was a 31st round selection in the 2007 draft and is currently pitching for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League (2.0 IP, 3H, 0 R, 1 K) in seven appearances.

Finally, the Indians announced that they have also re-signed designated hitter Jason Giambi, 42, to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to Major League camp.  This past season he equaled the single-season club record with three pinch-hit home runs, and for the season he drove in 31 runs in 71 games (54 starts at DH). He led the club with an RBI per at bat ratio of 6.0 AB/RBI and collected his 2000th career hit on September 8th vs. the New York Mets.

Giambi's signing to a minor league deal allows the Indians to retain him without giving him any guaranteed money. It also allows him to stick around through the end of spring training without taking up a valuable spot on the 40-man roster so the club can use that spot on another player. If Giambi makes the team out of spring training, which he likely would if he is healthy, then they would have to make a roster decision at that time.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

November 1, 2013 - 1:47 PM EDT
All four of Marson, Herrmann, Marson and Phelps should soon be added back to the active 40-man. There is no DL in the offseason. Have to have them back on the 40-man by November 20.
November 1, 2013 - 1:25 PM EDT
I have a technical question again but I think might know the answer. Currently Marson, Phelps, Barnes, and Herrmann are on the 60 day dl. If the Indians wanted to DFA any of these players they would have to add them back to the 40 man roster first before they can DFA.
Canadian Joe
October 31, 2013 - 10:10 PM EDT
I still like Barnes as a starter. he had success before, and stretching him out in spring training with an eye to using him later would not be a bad idea in my mind. Give him a chance to go back to what he did best.
October 31, 2013 - 9:30 PM EDT
The pickup of Hynes makes you wonder about the future of someone like Scott Barnes. The Indians obviously lost a lot of faith in him last season and he might either be heading back to the starting rotation, just a depth guy now for the pen, or even a DFA possibility.
October 31, 2013 - 6:40 PM EDT
I agree with the move completely. Chris took his position for granted. While I agreed with his stance about the attendance, his job was to pitch better and compel us to come out and watch.
October 31, 2013 - 4:14 PM EDT
I believe with the trade for Hynes that he is the first new player add to 40 man roster this offseason. I believe he is the new option to replace Hill and battle with Hagadone for the 2nd left hand pitching spot. It will give Crockett a little time in Columbus before becoming an option for the Indians. I hope they can sign R Perez to minor contract to provide some depth and competition. Maybe possible resurrection of career back in Cleveland.
October 31, 2013 - 3:46 PM EDT
@Roger, at 9 mill though he's not a great closer, plus his baggage made him not worth it. Too volatile, bad WHIP, gave up a ton of HR's, etc. I'd rather look internally and save the money and completely agree with this move.
October 31, 2013 - 3:46 PM EDT
Perez was in line to make about $9M in 2014. That's far too much for what he does, especially considering all of the other needs the Indians have and the limited resources financially to fill them. Perez will be lucky to get $5M on the open market this fact, there are so many closers available, it is a buyers market and the Indians should have an opportunity to get one for 1 year and $2-4M.

The Indians exhausted every avenue to trade him the past four weeks, but his release on the first day of the offseason shows that he had zero trade value. It's that $9M pricetag hanging over his head which made him mostly untradeable. If he were making $2-3M, he'd probably still be an Indian or be traded.
October 31, 2013 - 3:34 PM EDT
i hope the FO knows what they are doing chris perez has been a great closer for 3 years and one medicore year seems to be the ticket out of town. i would guess several teams will come calling for chris perez. 7.5 million for an established closer isnt out of line. To me it was a hasty move but perez may have asked for it. His experience this summer both off and on the field may haVE been too much to digest for him. i am sure more will come out as the off season proceeds

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