The Cleveland Indians released former closer Chris Perez and re-signed designated hitter Jason Giambi to a minor-league contract.
The team also announced the acquisition of left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations. Hynes, 28, had a 9.00 ERA in 22 relief appearances in 2013, although he did hold left-handed hitters to a .156 batting average.
Perez, an All-Star in 2011 and 2012, lost the closer job at the end of the season. He had a 9.64 ERA in September and was eligible for salary arbitration after earning $7.3 million this year. Perez and his wife also pled guilty in September to a misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substance after allegedly having around a third of a pound of marijuana delivered to their home on June 19, according to the police report.
Giambi, 42, was given a non-roster invitation to spring training after batting .183 with nine homers and 31 RBIs in 71 games last season. He also set a franchise record with three pinch-home runs.
---The Texas Rangers announced Thursday that they declined the $12 million club option on designated hitter-first baseman Lance Berkman.
Instead, the Rangers will pay Berkman a $1 million buyout.
Berkman, 37, batted .242 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in 73 games this season. He missed significant time with hip and knee injuries.
---The St. Louis Cardinals declined right-hander Jake Westbrook's $9.5 million contract option for 2014 on Thursday.
Westbrook, who lost his spot in the rotation in August, will get a $1 million buyout instead, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported. The 36-year-old Westbrook started 19 games in 2013 and posted a 7-8 record with a 4.63 ERA in 116 2/3 innings.
Also Thursday, after the Cardinals lost in six games to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Carlos Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Rafael Rurcal and Edward Mujica filed for free agency.