The Indians have released controversial closer Chris Perez and re-signed veteran slugger Jason Giambi.
A two-time All-Star, Perez wore out his welcome in Cleveland. He lost his job in the final week of the season as the Indians were trying to clinch a wild-card berth. It capped another tumultuous year for the right-hander, who was arrested in June after drug agents followed a package containing marijuana to his home. He and his wife pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Perez always seemed to be at the center of something. He angered Indians fans for saying they didn’t support the team and he rankled Cleveland’s front office when he said it wasn’t spending enough to win.
Perez, who was eligible for salary arbitration this winter, recorded 25 saves this past season. He had 124 in five seasons with the Indians, who acquired him in a 2009 trade from St. Louis….
Giambi provided leadership to the Indians from the moment he arrived at training camp last spring.
The 42-year-old, who was a finalist for Colorado’s managerial job last year, was signed to a minor league contract but it didn’t take him long to have a major impact in Cleveland’s clubhouse and he contributed some memorable moments on the field.