The New York Mets are about to make Oliver Perez the most expensive left-handed specialist in the history of the game. The Mets will activate Perez from the 15-day DL today and will use him primarily as a left-handed specialist.

Despite having to pay Perez $12 million this year and $11 million next year, it’s actually not a bad idea for the Mets.

Is Perez one of the top-five most overpaid players in the game?


But the Mets are doing the right thing by putting salary aside and trying to put Perez in the best position to succeed, and I think he can succeed as a left-handed specialist out of the pen.

Over his career, Perez has held left-handed batters to a .226/.315/.367 hitting line. The lefties’ .682 OPS against Perez is about 100 points lower than the righties’ OPS.

Here are the hitting lines for left-handed batters against Perez over the last three seasons.

2009: .200/.278/.363

2008: .158/.250/.271

2007: .206/.285/.340

So, as you can see, Perez has been getting lefties out both early and late in his career. Based on his past success, Perez should be able to get out one or two left-handed batters per game for the Mets.

Who knows? Maybe Perez can reinvent himself in this role. Heck, Darren Oliver was able to do it.  He has lasted 17 years in the majors, and is still going strong in 2010 (1.32 ERA in 41 IP).

Perez should be able to make it as a left-handed specialist. After all, he can’t be as bad as he was as a starter.

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