It's been a while since there's been honest-to-goodness Indians news, and there was a lot of it yesterday afternoon:
The @Indians today give RHP Chris Perez his unconditional release.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) October 31, 2013
It was a given that Perez would be non-tendered, as he would be getting anywhere from $8.5-$9.5M in arbitration, but the Indians decided to release him now to give them the roster flexibility and to give Perez the same opportunities that the free agents will have. The Perez release, along with the free agents leaving the roster (Jason Giambi, Matt Albers, Joe Smith, Rich Hill, Kelly Shoppach) will allow for the Indians to reinstate the four players currently on the 60-day DL (Frank Herrmann, Lou Marson, Scott Barnes, and Cord Phelps).
The Indians did retain Giambi, though as a minor-league free agent, so he won't be carried on the 40-man roster this winter. Again, that will help the roster flexibility as the Indians sign free agents and add Rule 5-eligible players. In my opinion Giambi belongs on the coaching staff and not the 25-man roster, but the Indians will have all winter and spring to figure out if he's physically able to withstand another long season.
The third move came when the Indians acquired LHP Colt Hynes from the San Diego Padres. The Padres recently DFAd him as they added the players on their 60-day DL back to their 40-man roster. Hynes is a 28-year-old left-hander who had spent his entire career in the San Diego organization. Until this season it didn't look like he'd have much of a future in the majors, but an arm slot adjustment made him a viable reliever against left-handed hitters. This season, left-handed minor-league hitters batted .150/.207/.215 against him, and that got him to the majors. The Indians searched all season for left-handed relievers, and although Scrabble was great down the stretch, they didn't have a second left-hander they could rely on. So it's not surprising that they'd jump on the opportunity to acquire more potential LOOGYs.
Here's the latest 40-man/NRI roster picture (still in progress, please excuse the dust):
Again, the Indians will be adding the four players on the 60-day DL back to the 40-man roster, but will likely be dropping Jason Kubel (team option declined) and Ubaldo Jimenez will likely void his contract after the Indians pick up his option, so they still have some room on the roster. That will change as the winter goes on, though.