Indians, OF Choo avoid arbitration
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Shin-Soo Choo worth $3,975,000, avoiding salary arbitration with their best player.
The Indians also finalized a $2.25 million, one-year contract with closer Chris Perez and a $1.33 million deal with setup man Rafael Perez. Teams and players who hadn't reached agreements were set to swap proposed arbitration figures Tuesday afternoon.
Cleveland wants to sign the 28-year-old Choo to a longterm contract. But for now, they've got him through 2011. He batted .300 with 22 homers, 22 steals and 90 RBIs last season. He was recently granted an exemption from serving in the South Korean military after helping his country win a gold medal at the Asian Games.
Choo made $461,100 last season.
Chris Perez finished with 23 saves in 27 tries last season, when he made $423,800. He took over as Cleveland's closer for the final three months after Kerry Wood was traded to the New York Yankees. Perez's 1.71 ERA was second lowest among AL relievers. He converted 18 of his final 19 chances, including 10 straight to end the season.
The 25-year-old was acquired in a 2009 trade from St. Louis.
Rafael Perez went 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA in a team-high 70 games.