Tag: Oliver Perez

Oliver Perez to Nationals: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Washington Nationals have signed left-handed reliever Oliver Perez to a two-year, $7 million deal, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Perez, a 13-year veteran, spent 2015 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros, pitching two games in the American League Division Series.

He was a starter for his first nine years before rejuvenating his career in the bullpen in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners. As a reliever, Perez is 9-14 with a 3.31 ERA, a 1.322 WHIP, 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a pair of saves.

Nationals relievers were 10th in the majors last year with a combined 3.46 ERA, and Perez will likely be a setup man in Washington. At closer, the Nationals already have Jonathan Papelbon, who took Drew Storen’s job when the Philadelphia Phillies traded him to Washington before the non-waiver deadline in late July.

Addressing the bullpen was a chief offseason concern for the Nationals, per Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

It needs a serious makeover. The Nationals need everything from a closer to setup men to middle relievers. During the second half of the 2015 season, they had a tough time getting to closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning because setup men, such as Casey Janssen and Drew Storen, were getting roughed up.

The Nationals failed to make the playoffs in 2015 after beginning the campaign as preseason World Series favorites, per Odds Shark.

Washington’s remarkable rotation has already lost Jordan Zimmermann in free agency, which means it will have to lean on its bullpen even more if it hopes to catch the reigning National League champion New York Mets in what is developing into a competitive NL East.

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Oliver Perez: How Is He Still a Free Agent in a Buyer’s Market?

After being a punch line with the New York Mets from 2009 to 2010—and even spending the entire 2011 season at Double-A for the Washington Nationals—Oliver Perez has completely reinvented himself as a serviceable relief pitcher. Over the past two seasons with the Seattle Mariners, the left-hander has combined for a 3.16 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 119 ERA+), 1.36 WHIP and 2.72 strikeouts-to-walks ratio over 82.2 innings. 

Yet, when you look at the remaining left-handed reliever free agents, Perez’s name is still somehow there. 

Oddly enough, the 32-year-old isn’t just a left-handed specialist, either. In 2012, Perez actually fared better against right-handed hitters than he did against southpaws. 




vs. LHH



vs. RHP



And while Perez’s success against left-handed hitters improved in 2013 (a .238 batting average against), he also didn’t become too vulnerable versus righties (a .255 batting average against). 

So if Perez has been an effective source of outs since 2012, could his free-agent status be due to another factor—like a dry market for southpaw relievers?

By comparison, below are the other left-handed relievers who have already been inked this offseason.

On the contrary, the 2014 offseason has actually been a buyer’s market for left-handed relievers. Teams have invested over $65 million combined, while handing out six multi-year contracts.

In fact, the 2014 offseason has by far been the most lucrative for left-handed relievers over the past four offseasons.


Multi-Yr Contracts

Total $ (MM)













(Note: left-handed closers are not included in above chart).

Considering the identical production between Perez and Boone Logan, the highest-grossing free-agent left-handed reliever this offseason, the lack of interest in Perez is befuddling. At an average of $5.5 million per season, the Colorado Rockies will receive the same type of production from Logan as whoever signs Perez.

There also haven’t been substantial rumors linking Perez to any teams. The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore speculated back in November about the Nationals’ interest in acquiring a left-handed reliever—and mentioned Perez as a fit. But despite the Washington Post’s James Wagner rehashing Kilgore’s report this past week, the Nationals have seemingly addressed their southpaw void by acquiring stud lefty Jerry Blevins from the Oakland Athletics on Dec. 11.

Like most baseball mysteries, perhaps there are simply some factors that have not been made public. Maybe Perez and his agent Mike Fischlin (of the Scott Boras Corp.) are well aware of the statistical comparisons and have been unsuccessfully holding out for a Logan-esque contract. Or it’s possible Perez, who was a starting pitcher up until 2010, prefers to start and is stubbornly waiting until a team offers him a big league contract as such.

Whatever the actual reason may be, assuming Perez signs a major league contract as a reliever, his new organization will undoubtedly be receiving his services at a far discounted price.


All statistics and other information sourced from Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs and MLB Trade Rumors.

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New York Mets’ 10 Worst Free-Agent Signings in Team History

Since free agency began in 1976, the New York Mets have had some hits and misses. Some players, like Carlos Beltran, proved to be good, while others didn’t do as well.

Whether by statistical underperformance, ego problems or injury, whomever was GM at the time really screwed up when they tabbed these people. 

With the midpoint of the offseason upon us, here are the 10 worst free-agent signings in team history. Be wary, though, some moves will surprise you. 

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Satire: New York Mets: Opening Day Predictions 2011

Ash sucks.  Bleacher Report.  Please delete this article.  And the Mets

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MLB News and Rumors: Oliver Perez Finally Released by the New York Mets

After months of speculation, the New York Mets finally released their erratic lefty Oliver Perez.

The release appeared inevitable at some point this off-season, but the Mets decided to give Perez an opportunity to prove himself during spring training.

Perez auditioned as both a starter and a left-handed specialist but failed to impress. The Mets will be on the hook for the $12 million he’s owed.

Perez’s career highlights for the Mets are rather brief. He pitched six innings of one-run ball against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS (Mets lost).

He tied John Maine for the team lead in wins with 15 in 2007.

Other than that, Perez’s Mets career has been filled with issuing walks, surrendering big hits and refusing to improve his game in the minors.

Here are 10 reasons why the Mets released Perez at the right time.

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New York Mets Finally Cut Oliver Perez

For some reason, the New York Mets gave Oliver Perez every chance possible to make the team’s Opening Day roster this year. Some people may even say that there are 12 million reasons why the team did it.

Perez started spring training with a chance to make the Mets starting rotation. After just a few outings, it was more than obvious that this would not occur. However, instead of cutting Perez at that point, the team gave him another opportunity.  Perez would have a chance to make the Mets as a reliever.

This also went poorly.

Perez struggled on the mound and continued to allow runners to reach base. His velocity also never returned to what it had previously been. Perez could not throw a 90 mph fastball. Without this ability, he could not be successful. His control problems also continued to manifest themselves as he walked eight batters in just 9.2 innings.

As poorly as Perez pitched this spring, he actually improved upon his ERA from spring training last year. He had a 8.38 ERA this spring. This obviously was not the improvement that the team was looking for, though.

Sandy Alderson announced today that the team has come to a decision about Perez. They have decided to cut him and move on. In addition to the news last week that the Mets were cutting Luis Castillo, fans are definitely happy. They only question that they may have is why it took so long for these players to be cut.

The team’s actions are showing that they are only going to put the best 25 players on the Opening Day roster. This is something that the team has not done in the past.  

While there are certainly still concerns, think Carlos Beltran’s knee and the second base battle, the team should have stability moving forward.

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Sandy Alderson: Time for Mets GM to Make Decision on Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo

It’s gone on for weeks now. What was a four-man competition that was supposed to be cut down by March 14 has now swelled to five men and is no closer to a conclusion.

Mets manager Terry Collins trots a different second baseman out every game, gives him two or three at-bats and then replaces him with another candidate for one or two at-bats.

On and on we go, and where it stops, nobody knows—not even Collins himself.

Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and, of course, Luis Castillo, have all been under consideration for the Mets’ second-base job since the start of spring training, and you can add Luis Hernandez to that list as well.

Recent reports have Hernandez as the front runner to win the job, although his name has only just now floated to the surface of the toilet that has been second base. Depending on which newspaper or website you read, Hernandez may only have an outside chance.

Regardless, Collins had said this was all supposed to be resolved three days ago, but since no one has broken away from the pack, it remains an open competition.

Speaking of competition: Oliver Perez, who is no competition for anyone, continues to circle the drain, as does Castillo.

General manager Sandy Alderson was asked recently about the attention the media and, more specifically, the fans have given to Perez and Castillo.

“It’s a little odd,” Alderson said. “I think it does distract one from taking a look at this team as a whole and having a little more balanced view of this team as a whole…I think there has been a lot of focus on second base, maybe to the exclusion of some other things. I wouldn’t say there’s anything else you should be watching, [maybe] something else you might write about.”

You know what would be nice to write about, Mr. Alderson? A winner of the second base competition. Or maybe even a decision on Castillo and Perez, who continue to be given a chance to make this team despite every indication that they’ll be released.

Perez, who entered camp pleading with Collins for a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation, made two starts, going 1-1, and currently sports a 7.88 ERA and has issued six walks in just eight innings.

Perez now has his name on a very long list of guys competing for a spot in the bullpen. Collins has already tabbed lefty Tim Byrdak as a “lock” for the pen, and there’s no real reason for the Mets to carry two left-handed relievers.

On the other side of the coin, Castillo seems to be holding his own in the second base competition, despite numerous and frankly obvious reasons why he should be released. If he is finally, and mercifully, released, it could come as soon as the end of this week.

In 11 games, Castillo is batting .285 with two RBI and four runs scored.

Defensively, Castillo has committed one error in 45 innings at second base, but his range continues to be an issue. Although Collins has said he views second base as an offensive position (think Dan Uggla), that doesn’t boost Castillo’s candidacy.

So despite no need for Perez and far superior options to Castillo, both continue to compete for spots on this team. As long as this process continues to get dragged out, much to Alderson’s dismay, it will continue to be picked apart and criticized.  

The fans certainly aren’t staying silent, something Alderson finds surprising.

“It’s human nature,” he said. “There is interest in those two players in our fanbase. … They are among the most debated players.”

No, Sandy. They are the most debated players.

Because of what they represent, $60 million wasted under the Omar Minaya regime, their inclusion on the Opening Day roster will be met with public outcry, and rightfully so. What was going to be a difficult task of getting fans into Citi Field would be almost impossible.

Knowing the standpoint of the fanbase, Alderson said that public perception, though a factor, would not supersede performance.

“We have to deal with reality, and sometimes those perceptions have to be taken into account,” Alderson said.

Well, luckily, the reality is that the performances of Perez and Castillo don’t warrant their inclusion on the 25-man roster when the Mets break camp in a little more than two weeks. Since past performance is perhaps an even larger factor than spring training, it should make deciding what to do with them all the easier.

The time has come to make a decision—a decision that, according to Alderson, rests with him in the end. He’ll get input from Collins and the coaches and scouts, but he’ll make the final call.

New York is a big city—the biggest city, in fact. That’s a lot of voices, almost all of them calling for the same thing: the release of Perez and Castillo and an end to the constant questioning and debate.

Don’t like the constant talk, Mr. Alderson? Want it to end?

Then make a decision, one way or the other—though I think you know which way to go.

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New York Mets 2011: The Worst Team Money Could Buy, Part II

The Mets have a the fifth largest payroll in baseball. They have a shiny new stadium, they play in the largest market in America and have a roster loaded with talent.

For all this, the Mets are terrible. In every way imaginable.

The Mets won a total of 79 games last year—23 games behind their “enemies” the Philadelphia Phillies. They ranked 12th in attendance, despite the new stadium, and behind decidedly small market Milwaukee. They averaged over 12,000 less people per game than their crosstown rivals, the Yankees.

The Phillies, like the Mets, made trades for veterans, signed big contracts and generally succeed in their plan to win now. While that plan worked for the Phillies, it failed miserably for the Mets and only left them in a spiraling losing funk with an albatross of a expensive roster.

Let’s take a look at the Mets roster. Johan Santana, the ace the Mets traded for, finally blew out the shoulder that scouts have said for some time that he would. The injury, which comes from long-term wear, brings with it not only a long rehabilitation, but accusations of the Mets overusing Santana.

Santana had been complaining about his arm as early as late June. Yet the Mets continued to throw Santana out there every fifth day until early September, even though the Mets were completely out of the race by mid to late July. By the time Santana comes back in 2012, he will be 33 with three years left on his contract.

Carlos Beltran, who was an overpaid centerfielder to begin with, has mercifully only one year on his contract. A empty of husk of his former self, Beltran has played 125 games the past two seasons and has already injured himself in spring training. He batted .255 last year. He makes $18.5 million this year.

Jason Bay, who the Mets signed to a large four-year, $66 million contract before last season, looked completely uncomfortable and intimidated in the spacious new CitiField. One year after hitting 36 home runs in Boston, Bay hit a pathetic 6 home runs in 95 games before concussing  himself running for a fly ball.

Gary Matthews batted .194 last season before being cut by the Mets. He is set to earn $12 million this year.

One-time face of the franchise Jose Reyes, who at one time was getting press that he would be the new “Best Shortstop in New York,” is reportedly playing for a trade. Reyes, who made seventh on the MVP list in 2006, has been beset by injuries, a bad attitude and declining skills both at the plate and on the bases.

Last year, Reyes had a Dave Kingman-esque OBP of .321—not what you want from your “speedy” shortstop. Reyes speed is also in question as he only stole 30 bases last season and was caught a third of the time—a far cry from his heyday of 2006-2007. Reyes will make $11 million in what his probably his last year as a Met.

Which brings us to Oliver Perez. Perez, who was signed by the Mets in 2009 to a $36 million, three-year contract. Reportedly, the Mets competed only against themselves for the services of Perez, which was meant to solidify the rotation after Santana.

Since the contract was signed for that $36 million, Perez’s record is 3-9 with an ERA of 6.81 in roughly 100 IP. Perez has been in the minors both in 2009 and 2010 to work on his wrecked mechanics. Perez, having completely lost any confidence he may have had, has lost velocity and abandoned his fastball as well as his curveball, which he didn’t use last year at all. His fastball and changeup are 4 mph apart.

The Mets recently gave up any idea of using Perez in the rotation this season and have sent him to the end of the bench in the bullpen. Price tag: $13 million.

In 86 games last season, Luis Castillo committed 11 errors and batted .245. Price tag: $6 million.

And then there is Francisco Rodriguez, he of the dramatic mound gestures. While his on-the-field play has generally been good, it’s the other part of his life that the Mets wish they could make go away. Having no real reason for a high-priced reliever, the Mets would do well to trade K-Rod. Except they can’t.

Since being signed, K-Rod has had tussles with opposing players, his own coaches and, most well-known, his girlfriend’s father, whom he punched in the face.

Adding salt to the wound, Rodriguez injured a ligament in his thumb from the altercation and needed season-ending surgery. Rodriguez was ordered by the court to stay away from his girlfriend and he family; Rodriguez violated the court order, though he did escape further punishment.

The good news is that a ton of this payroll baggage comes off the roster next year. The bad news is that the Mets don’t have a ton of talent on the way. Keith Law recently put the Mets’ minor league organization at 26 out of 32. The Mets didn’t have one prospect ranked in the top 50.

Also, the Mets have been accused of rushing their recent young talent too quickly, with Baseball Prospectus writing: “The Minaya regime wasn’t particularly successful at any aspect of developing or handling prospects.”

Put it all together and what you get is a big, expensive gooey mess. The Mets will go nowhere this year; the season already having been written off. And with the Madoff scandal having struck the Wilpon family fairly hard, it is tough to see the Mets being big free agency players anytime soon. So, to recap:

1. Terrible free-agent signings.
2. No young talent coming up the pike.
3. Disgruntled and fading stars.
4. No free-agent help for the forseeable future.

The original Worst Team Money Could Buy was about the 1993 Mets who won 59 games. The 2011 squad might give those guys a run for their money.

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MLB Rumors: Is Oliver Perez as Good as Gone for the New York Mets?

Despite a strong showing from New York Mets lefty Oliver Perez on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Perez may be on the fast track to the bullpen come Opening Day.

According to Andy Martino of NY Daily News, while Perez is still officially in the competition for the fifth starter role, his low velocity and streaky consistency made him a viable candidate to get cut early this spring as Mets executives watched from the stands this Thursday.

While manager Terry Collins continues to stand by his word saying, “I wouldn’t say his job (was on the line), but we certainly were going to revisit the (situation),” sources telling the Daily News seem to be headed in a different direction in regards to Perez’s roster spot.

The team was very close to absorbing the $12 million left on Perez’s contract before his start on Thursday, but his two scoreless innings of two-hit ball with no strikeouts and an even more surprising no walks, has seemingly saved his Mets career for another day.

Perez could be slated for one last start this spring to save his career, but let’s get this straight. This isn’t going to be a sudden revival of a once promising career that Perez showed flashes of back in the 2006 NLCS.

He’s as good as done, and if he remains on the roster come Opening Day, he will be used as a strictly left-handed reliever/long reliever, but even that’s being optimistic.

No matter the coaching and the amount of times he says, “First-pitch strike – that’s the goal,”(NY Daily News) Perez will never live up to the $36 million contract he signed, and because of that, Oliver Perez is as good as done for the Mets – and fans couldn’t be happier.

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New York Mets: Did Oliver Perez Save His Job On Thursday?

I am really fascinated by this Oliver Perez situation.

According to multiple sources, if New York Mets’ LHP Oliver Perez didn’t show improvement from his first spring training outing on Thursday, the Mets were ready to eat the remaining $12 million on his contract and cut him.

Perez, in his first outing of the spring against the Atlanta Braves, walked three batters and gave up four runs in just two innings of work.

What I find fascinating about the situation is the Mets would need to see anything more from Perez to cut him; as if the last two years of garbage hasn’t been enough indication that this turkey is totally brain dead as one Gordon Gecko once said.

Of course, in classic Mets fashion, Perez wasn’t awful on Thursday. He allowed two hits, no walks and no runs in two innings of work against the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite his marginal success on Thursday, for the second outing in a row, Perez’s velocity on his fastball was in the low-80′s.

To put Perez’s low-80′s fastball in perspective, the Major League average fastball last season for starting pitchers was 90.9 mph. Ironically and, perhaps even more sadly for Perez, follow Met and knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey had the lowest average fastball at 83.9 mph.

It’s probably not a good sign when a knuckleball pitcher throws harder than you do. Right now, there are about 500 kids in high school that even throw harder than Perez.

Based on this performance, the Mets will most likely give Perez another shot. I personally think the Mets should cut him and cut their losses.

He is the poster boy (slighted edging out Luis Castillo) for the futility and circus that has surrounded the Mets the past couple of years. The faster they move on from Perez, the faster the Mets can move on from their past.

Perez’s next appearance will likely be March 8, when the Mets have split-squad games against the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.


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