Going into the 2014 season the Los Angeles Dodgers stocked their bullpen with a bunch of former closers: Brian Wilson, Brandon League and Chris Perez.
That method didn’t exactly turn out well, as the Dodgers bullpen finished with a combined ERA of 3.80, which ranked 22nd in the MLB. They also took the brunt of the blame for the Dodgers’ early exit in the postseason, as manager Don Mattingly had nobody to bridge the starting pitchers to closer Kenley Jansen.
One of the pitchers that contributed to that was the former Cleveland Indians closer, Perez, who as of Wednesday is no longer a Dodger. The Milwaukee Brewers announced a deal with the right-hander via their official Twitter account:
The #Brewers have signed RHP Chris Perez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League camp.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) February 5, 2015
Perez struggled in his only season in Los Angeles posting a 4.27 ERA in 46.1 innings. He struck out just 39 batters while walking 25.
The 29-year-old signed a one-year contract worth $2.3 million with the Dodgers in December of 2013. He began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008, before being traded to the Indians in June of 2009. He had a breakout season in 2011 when he won the full-time closer role and was named to the American League All-Star team. The two-time All-Star had 123 saves in four seasons as the Indian’s closer.
The Brewers have had recent success with the signing of a former closer in Francisco Rodriguez, who saved 44 games with them in 2014, so Perez will have a very good chance to make the Major League roster if he could return to his previous form in Spring Training. If he does make the big league club he will receive $1.5 million in 2015 with a chance to earn more via games-finished incentives.
Dodgers Fanfest – Howie Kendrick