01/18/13 1:30 PM ET
Indians sign Perez, Smith to one-year deals
By Zack Meisel and Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
The club sidestepped arbitration with Chris Perez and Joe Smith, signing both relievers to one-year pacts on Friday. Perez will earn $7.3 million for the 2013 campaign and Smith will merit $3.15 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com.
Any unsigned arbitration-eligible players were required to exchange salary proposals with their teams by 1 p.m. ET on Friday. The Tribe agreed to terms with center fielder Drew Stubbs and catcher Lou Marson earlier Friday morning. The Indians have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since 1991.
Perez racked up 98 saves for Cleveland over the last three seasons, including a career-high 39 in 2012. His 39 saves ranked fourth in the American League. The hard-throwing right-hander has earned a trip to the All-Star Game each of the last two years. Perez will be arbitration-eligible for the final time next winter, and can become a free agent for the first time following the 2014 season.
Smith tallied seven wins and a 2.96 ERA across 72 appearances with the Tribe in 2012. The 28-year-old is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
The Indians' remaining crop of arbitration cases include sinkerballer Justin Masterson ($3.825 million in 2012), infielder Mike Aviles ($1.2 million) and reliever Matt Albers ($1.075 million).
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.