The Indians swapped left-handed relievers on Wednesday, reinstating Nick Hagadone to the club's 40-man roster while designating veteran Rafael Perez for assignment.
Cleveland had until Friday's deadline to tender Perez a contract for the 2013 campaign before he potentially headed to arbitration. Any players who are non-tendered -- not offered a contract -- join the free-agent pool this winter.
The 30-year-old, who has been in the organization since signing as an amateur free agent in 2002, has been a key contributor to the Indians' bullpen since '06. In his first full season in '07, he posted a 1.78 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. A lanky reliever recognized for his deceptive delivery and nasty slider, Perez logged a 21-12 record and 3.64 ERA over 338 career appearances with Cleveland.
Perez pitched in only eight contests last season, however. He suffered a strained left lat muscle in late April, which shelved him until August. During his recovery, he sprained his right ankle, which stunted the progress of his rehab assignment. He didn't pitch for the Tribe the rest of the season.
Hagadone also missed a significant portion of the 2012 season. The 26-year-old compiled a 2.04 ERA in his first 17 appearances. Over his next 10 outings, though, he surrendered 14 runs on 17 hits in 7 2/3 frames, for a 16.43 ERA. He left the clubhouse following a shaky performance on July 6 with a broken left wrist, a self-inflicted injury.
The Indians optioned Hagadone to Triple-A Columbus and, as a result of his actions, placed him on the Minor League disqualified list, which prevented the southpaw from earning a paycheck or any service time for the duration of his recovery. He did not count against the 40-man roster while he was on the disqualified list. The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on Hagadone's behalf so the reliever could reclaim his salary.
To make up for missed time, Hagadone is pitching in winter ball with Aguilas of the Dominican League. He has yielded two runs (one earned) and struck out five in three appearances spanning three innings.
Cleveland filled its 40-man roster to capacity last week when the club added Chen-Chang Lee, Trey Haley, T.J. House and Tim Fedroff, rather than leave the four unprotected in anticipation of next week's Rule 5 Draft.