Closers nearly always return more value in a trade than they actually should. It seems weird, as teams need ninth inning options to close off one-run leads, but the valuation of closers — especially during the season — is often absurd.
Many playoff contenders this season, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals, have dealt with inconsistencies in their closer role. There are very few selling teams that have “established” closers to trade away this offseason, but the Cleveland Indians are one of them.
Chriz Perez has a career ERA just over 3 and over 300 career saves. Though the Indians are currently straddling the line of being in contention, if they decide to sell, Perez would return a lot of value this offseason.
The Indians spent a lot of money this offseason, getting Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Their pitching staff, however, is still extremely inconsistent. If they could get back a strong starting pitching prospect for Perez, it would be a major boost to their system.
With Vinnie Pestano — who is currently on the disabled list — and Joe Smith, the Indians could replace Perez will little loss of production. Because many teams desperately believe that they need a late-inning reliever, the Indians could drive a hard bargain for Perez this July.
Perez has never had a season of over 0.8 WAR, but he has averaged over 32 saves the last three seasons. This valuation of saves over true value of a player would allow the Indians, if they so desire, to move Perez and get substantial value in return.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.