Indians release RHP Chris Perez

Jim Rogash

The former closer will have to try his luck on the free-agent market this offseason.

The Cleveland Indians released closer Chris Perez on Thursday, forcing the right-hander to look for a new contract in free agency, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

His release puts an early end to any and all speculation that Cleveland might trade the troubled reliever in the days leading up to the Dec. 2 non-tender deadline.

Perez, 28, struggled both on and off the field this season. The right-hander not only amassed career-worsts in earned run average (4.33), home runs allowed (11) and blown saves (five), but also pled no contest to a drug possession charge for having marijuana delivered to his home.

Things got really bad for Perez in the final two months of the season. His numbers were solid through July, but his 7.52 ERA and seven home runs allowed in his final 21 outings forced Cleveland to remove him from the closer role for the final week of the season.

A Super Two player, Perez earned $7.3 million in 2013 and still has one year of arbitration remaining. Had Cleveland opted to retain him, they would have had to grant him a raise despite his poor numbers. However, because he's been placed on the open market, teams can now sign him for whatever amount they see fit.

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