CLEVELAND -- The Indians ended the season without a defined closer in their bullpen and it could be months before the club has clarity for that role on the roster.
Chris Perez lost his job as Cleveland's closer on the final weekend of the regular season after experiencing struggles on the mound for the better part of two months. This winter, the two-time All-Star is eligible for arbitration for the final time, and his potential salary complicates his situation further heading into the 2014 season.
Perez, who earned $7.3 million through arbitration last offseason, could be in line for a salary around $8-10 million for 2014. That being the case, the 28-year-old right-hander would appear to be a prime trade or non-tender candidate this offseason.
In 54 games this season, Perez posted a 4.33 ERA with 25 saves in 30 chances and 54 strikeouts in 54 innings for the Indians. Between Aug. 1 and the end of the season, though, Perez turned in a bloated 7.52 ERA, allowing six runs in his final two appearances prior to losing the closer's job.
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.