LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of right-handed reliever Chris Perez to a one-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
"Chris expressed an interest in coming here and pitching in any role Don asks of him," said Colletti. "We see him adding depth and experience to our bullpen and while Kenley and Brian will close games, we play so many tight games that we couldn't pass up the chance to add another reliever who has experienced success in the 7th, 8th and 9th inning. It's a great opportunity for both Chris and the Dodgers."
Since 2010 when he became a full-time closer, Perez's 123 saves rank sixth in Major League Baseball, trailing just Craig Kimbrel (139), Jonathan Papelbon (135), Rafael Soriano (132), Mariano Rivera (126) and Heath Bell (124). Perez's 124 saves rank third in Indians' franchise history, trailing Bob Wickman (139) and Doug Jones (129).
Last year, Perez went 5-3 and saved 25 games in 30 chances (11th, AL) for Cleveland. His season ERA of 4.33 was inflated by four outings in which he gave up 15 runs in 2.1 innings. Without those contests, Perez would have posted a 1.92 ERA in 50 games (51.2 innings).
The six-year Major League veteran has a 15-21 career record with a 3.41 ERA in 344 career games (all in relief) with St. Louis (2008-09) and Cleveland (2009-13). In his career, Perez has limited opponents to a .218 career batting average and a .307 career on-base percentage. His .218 opponents' average ranks 14th in the big leagues among relievers that have tossed at least 300.0 IP in the last six seasons.
The Florida native was named to the American League All-Star team in both 2011 and 2012, tossing a scoreless frame in the 2011 Midsummer Classic. In 2011, his 36 saves ranked fourth in the AL and his 57 games finished were third. Perez followed that up in 2012 by finishing fourth in saves (with a career-high 39) and seventh in games finished (53). In 2010, his 1.71 ERA ranked second among all AL relievers.
The 28-year-old made his big league debut in 2008, recording two scoreless outings at Dodger Stadium in the first week of his career. Later that season, Perez notched his first big league save against the Dodgers in St. Louis, retiring Jeff Kent, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp along the way.
Perez was originally selected by the Cardinals in the first round (42nd overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. The 6'4, 230-pound hurler pitched collegiately for the University of Miami Hurricanes, where he went 9-2 with 19 saves in 59 games from 2004-06 and was a semifinalist for NCBWA "Stopper of the Year" in 2006. Perez and his wife, Melanie, reside in Tampa, FL with their son, Maxwell.