Indians Chris Antonetti defends Chris Perez, says no plans to trade closer

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Chris Perez made some comments that got him in trouble this season in Cleveland, but GM Mark Antonetti gave no indication that he's planning to trade the closer this winter

Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Antonetti indicated on Thursday that he's not planning to trade closer Chris Perez this offseason. Perez had a rough season off the field, publicly criticizing Indians fans, Antonetti and owner Larry Dolan. He was also caught arguing with fans at a game in Oakland.

Antonetti would have preferred that those criticisms had been handled a little differently, but believes that those incidents came from Perez heart being in the right place (via Ohio.com):

"I know it comes from a good place with Chris. He’s very competitive. Sometimes I wish he would have used different words. I appreciate his candor when it’s behind closed doors."

When asked about the possibility of trading Perez, the Indians GM indicated that the team wants players that want to win, and that Perez is one of those players. He does not believe that Perez was the cause of any problems within the clubhouse.

Perez saved 39 games for the Indians in 2012, compiling an 0-4 record and a 3.59 ERA in the process. His 3.69 strikeout to walk ratio was the best of his career, over double his 1.50 ratio from 2011. Perez will be arbitration eligible for the second time this winter, and he was paid $4.5 million by the Indians in 2012.

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