Just when you were starting to wonder if the Cleveland Indians’ front office was ever going to spend some of that savings they’ve been cultivating this offseason, here comes the triumphant return of left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, signing a one-year deal with the Tribe worth $2.5 million. The contract includes a vesting option for 2020.
The veteran reliever was a midseason signing last year, joining the Indians in June. To the surprise of virtually everyone, Perez was a stabilizing force for the Tribe’s rocky bullpen, finishing the season with a career best 1.39 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. He’ll be expected to have a similar impact on a 2019 bullpen that will be without the services of Cody Allen and Andrew Miller.
Indians manager Terry Francona declined to pitch Perez against the Houston Astros last year in the ALDS and the Tribe were swept from the postseason as a result. Something tells me Tito won’t be making that same mistake again.