As most of you already know, Chris Perez was believed by many to be the Closer of the Future when he was with the Cardinals early in his career. However, while contending for the playoffs in 2009 the Redbirds shipped Perez over to Cleveland with Jess Todd in exchange for utility player Mark DeRosa. This seems like one of the few trades in the past that the Cardinals may be regretting. DeRosa was good not great in his short stint and the Cards failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs. Perez, has enjoyed substantial success since his move to the Indians. In 2011, Perez had a breakout season that resulted in his first All-Star game selection and finished the season 4th in saves. Since then Perez has also been selected as an All-Star in 2012. There have been reports that Perez is on the trade block. Is it time for him to be brought back to wear the Birds on the Bat once again?Lets take a look at the present-day Cardinals of 2012. This is a team that has some explosive fire power on offense which is resulting in leading the NL in a variety of categories. The starting pitching has been absolutely stellar ever since the All-Star break and coming off a sweep of the lowly Cubs, things are looking good. One big factor that will play into GM John Mozeilak's plans is the timetable for SP Jaime Garcia to return. Reports are that Mo is very confident that Jaime will be back mid-August which will most likely result in rookie surprise Joe Kelly moving into the bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, for much of the season, this has been overwhelmingly the biggest weakness on this team. We all know about Scrabble not performing as well as he did at the end of the year last year, Salas has taken a step back, Motte has been good but not great in the closer role, and how much can you rely on guys like Victor Marte, Trevor Rosenthal, Barret Browning, and co. later in the season? This brings me back to Chris Perez. If he really is available what are your thoughts on bringing him back? Imagine how good this team can be if Garcia comes back and games can be finished with a combo of Kelly-Boggs-Perez and Motte. The Bullpen could still use a lefty to help Rzepczynski and they have started looking for that by signing Brian Fuentes.
Perez could really help this team for years to come as he is only 27 and is 2013-2014 arbitration eligible before he hits Free Agency in 2015. As Ken Rosenthal has reported, Perez is likely to top $7 Million in arbitration for 2013 so he will come expensive. Not to mention, the Indians asking price will most likely be higher than most other relievers on the market. But, is it worth it if you can have a shut-down bullpen as a result? Perez is sporting an ERA of 3.07 and a WHIP of 1.05 this season as the closer of the Indians and he may not even have to close for the Redbirds. Not to mention, the guy has some fire to him personality wise.
I'm interested in your thoughts. With the recent sweep of the Cubs and improved bullpen play do we even need this guy? Or is it completely necessary for us to trade for him in order to find ourselves playing in October yet again?