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Friday, January 18, 2013
Indians avoid arbitration with Chris Perez, others

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Chris Perez converted saves and stirred up controversy last season. And for his efforts, the All-Star earned a handsome raise.

Perez signed a one-year contract on Friday with the Cleveland Indians, who avoided salary arbitration with the colorful right-hander and five other players.

Perez, who had 39 saves last season when he also made pointed comments about the team's sagging attendance and owner, will earn $7.3 million next season. He made $4.5 million in 2012.

He went 0-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 61 games, but had 39 saves in 43 tries. Perez has 98 saves over the past three seasons. Perez will be eligible for arbitration for the final time next winter.

The Indians also agreed to deals on Friday with starter Justin Masterson ($5,687,500), relievers Joe Smith ($3.15 million) and Matt Albers ($1.75 million), outfielder Drew Stubbs ($2,825,000) and catcher Lou Marson ($1 million). Stubbs and Albers came to Cleveland last month in a three-team trade with Arizona and Cincinnati.

Infielder Mike Aviles filed for salary arbitration, asking for $3.4 million while the team offered $2.4 million. He was acquired on Nov. 3 in a trade with Toronto. Last season, Aviles batted .250 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs for Boston.

The Indians have not gone to arbitration with a player since 1991, when both Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne had hearings.