Free-agent relievers who could help the Cleveland Indians including a couple of wild cards just for fun

Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Indians' bullpen needs a boost. After leading the big leagues in ERA in 2017, it had the third-highest ERA in the American League last season. The free agent defections of Andrew Miller, Cody Allen and Oliver Perez have not helped.

What follows is a look at 11 free-agent relievers who could help the Tribe next season. Since reducing the payroll has been a focus for the front office, salaries have been taken into consideration in most cases.

So let's take the plunge starting with Perez. Every bullpen needs a good left-on-left lefty. Perez was all of that and more last year and he did for at a bargain-basement rate of $1.75 million.

Perez was in the minors with the Yankees when he opted out of his deal on June 2 and signed with the Indians. They brought him right to the big leagues and he not only stayed the rest of the year, but had one of MLB's best under-the-radar seasons.

He went 1-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 51 appearances. He struck out 43 and walked seven in 32 1/3 innings. Lefties hit .194 and righties .104.

There is interest on both sides for a reunion in 2019, but if it happens it may not be until late January or early February. If Perez does return, he's in line for a well-deserved raise.  

#baseball, #professional

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