Just as they had late Thursday evening with Drew Stubbs and Lou Marson, the Cleveland Indians have agreed to terms with relief pitchers Chris Perez and Joe Smith. Both players have signed one-year deals that effectively avoid arbitration.
Perez, who made $4.5 million last season, agreed to a $7.3 million deal with the team. He is coming off of consecutive All-Star appearances, saved 39 games in 2012 and struck out 59 batters in 57.2 innings of work. Perez was largely considered to be a potential asset in the trade market this offseason due to his volatility in the clubhouse and expected increase in compensation following his second straight season of at least 36 saves. He will be the second-highest paid player on the Indians heading into 2013.
Smith made $1.75 million in 2012 and will make $3.15 million in 2013. Through 67 innings of work, Smith struck out 53 and walked four, serving predominantly as specialist against right-handed hitters.
Smith exclaimed his happiness over being finished with the negotiation process via his Twitter account:
Finally got it done! Excited for this season,we got better this wintershould be a hell of a year!!
— joe smith (@thethree8) January 18, 2013
In addition to the bullpen arms, the Indians have agreed terms with one-time ace starting pitcher Justin Masterson ($5.68 million) along with Matt Albers ($1.75 million). Masterson is coming off of a 2012 season to forget, appearing in 34 games and finishing with an ERA of 4.93 and 14 wild pitches and 13 hit batters. He received a $2 million raise.
The Indians have avoided arbitration every season since 1991. Mike Aviles remains the only players who are eligible to head to arbitration if they remain unsigned. Any unsigned arbitration-eligible players were required to exchange proposed salary figures with their team by 1 p.m. ET on Friday.