The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to signing right-handed relief pitcher Chris Perez. He figures to be part of the set-up crew for closer Kenley Jansen that includes righty Brian Wilson and lefty J.P. Howell.
Financial terms were not yet known, though Perez earned $7.3 million as a closer in '13. He's not being brought into L.A. for that, at least not right away.
A two-time All-Star with the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and 2012, Perez had his worst season and lost his ninth-inning gig in 2013 while suffering some off-the-field humiliations. He still had a strong strikeout rate (one per inning) and figures to be a good, relatively cheap pickup for the Dodgers, as long as he curbs the home runs allowed.
But here's the real attraction of Perez (in the middle of the photo) for the Dodgers: It's not his arm, but his beard. A relief corps including Perez, Howell and — holy moly, Brian Wilson — gives the Dodgers the hairiest bullpen in the majors, perhaps in history. Jansen had a closely cropped beard at the end of the 2013 season and Chris Withrow sported a fu-manchu mustache, but neither offered the excessive hair of Wilson, Howell and Perez.
Dodgers blogger Chad Moriyama isn't sure Perez is the best fit, and he brings up some good reasons why, but his thinking doesn't have anything to do with facial hair. What-ever.
So, to recap: Beard and strikeout rate, good. Marijuana bust/yelling at fans, bad.
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