The Los Angeles Dodgers and right-handed reliever Chris Perez have agreed on a one-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that Perez will take his physical today, which will make the deal official. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times first reported that the Dodgers and Perez were close late Sunday evening (western time). Perez will not be closing for the Dodgers in 2014, according to reports.
Perez, the former Cardinals and Indians reliever, went 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.426 WHIP in 54 games (87 ERA+) with Cleveland in 2013. He added a 9.0 SO/9 rate, a 3.5 BB/9 rate, and a 9.3 H/9 rate while striking out 54 in 54 innings pitched. Perez added 25 saves in 30 opportunities in 2013. He was sidelined for 28 games with a rotator cuff injury, which ultimately lowered his stock this winter. After returning from his injury through the end of the season, Perez went 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA while saving 19 of his 22 opportunities in that stretch.
Over his career, the 28-year-old has gone 15-21 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.219 WHIP with the St. Louis Cardinals (2008-2009) and the Cleveland Indians (2009-2013). He has also posted a 117 ERA+ while averaging 26 saves per year.
The Dodgers and Perez agree to a low-risk, high-reward type of deal. Although he was injury-ridden last year, Perez did finish the season very strong and has been a great reliever in the past. You can expect Perez to come back and pitch well for the Dodgers, who had decent relief pitching in 2013 (Reliever's ERA - 3.49; 13th in MLB). Perez should help bolster that staff and be a nice option in the seventh or eighth innings going forward.