DETROIT — There was some clarification in the Chris Perez situation Friday, and it wasn’t positive news for the Indians and their closer.
An investigation into packages delivered to Perez’s Rocky River home on Tuesday resulted in the pitcher and his wife Melanie being formally charged with misdemeanor drug possession in the shipment of just over one-third of a pound of marijuana.
Perez’s attorney said his client would plead not guilty to an offense that would likely result in a fine if the pitcher is convicted.
Tipped off to suspicious packages addressed to the rental home of Perez by postal inspectors Tuesday, police arranged a delivery under surveillance, with Perez’s wife signing for two packages. The packages in question were reportedly addressed to Brady (Perez’s dog’s name) Baum (Perez’s wife’s maiden name) and had a Los Angeles return address.
A search of the house under warrant later began with a babysitter at the residence while Perez and his wife were out. When they returned, according to police reports, Perez told officers he had marijuana in the basement for personal use and directed them to two jars containing pot. Drug paraphernalia was also discovered.
“Clearly we take these matters seriously and are disappointed whenever there is any negative attention brought to the Indians organization or one of our players,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement. “We understand and respect that there is an ongoing legal process that we will allow to evolve.”
Under the drug agreement between Major League Baseball and the Player’s Association, marijuana offenses generally result in treatment rather than discipline.
Once the legal proceedings run their course, MLB, not the Indians, will be responsible for any discipline levied against Perez.
Indians manager Terry Francona said he has spoken to Perez on multiple occasions since Tuesday, but would not comment on the situation.
Perez, 27, is currently on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder. He began throwing Wednesday in hopes of beginning a minor-league rehab assignment.
The right-hander’s season started well — one earned run over his first 14 appearances — but he allowed seven earned runs in his last three outings before being placed on the DL on May 27. He is 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 17 games this year, converting six of eight save opportunities.
The majority of Perez’s teammates said they didn’t know enough about the situation to comment.
“Up here, the show goes on,” first baseman Nick Swisher said. “We just want to make sure he’s all right.”
“I don’t know anything about it,” veteran clubhouse leader Jason Giambi said. “We’ve got to concentrate on baseball.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at (440) 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org