What They Said When The Mets Signed Oliver Perez

Mets GM Omar Minaya signed Oliver Perez to a three-year, $36MM deal in February of 2009, and he's given the team 112 1/3 innings of 6.81 ball over two seasons.  There's a good chance he'll be released this month, with the team eating $12MM.  It could have been worse, too - Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Mets floated a four-year, $44MM deal, but Perez and Scott Boras wanted the chance to re-enter the free agent market after three years.  

It's easy to trash the Perez signing now, but what were reporters and analysts saying at the time of the deal?  Don't worry, I am not immune…

Tim Dierkes, MLB Trade Rumors

I think it was about right since he is so young and can be dominant.  Maybe a slight overpay but that is OK for a team like the Mets to do.


Ben Shpigel, New York Times

Perez has agreed in principle to a three-year, $36 million contract to remain with the Mets in a deal that should benefit both parties. Without guaranteeing a fourth year or even including a vesting option, the Mets fortified their rotation Monday with a 27-year-old left-hander who is comfortable pitching in New York; who last season baffled their chief rival, the Philadelphia Phillies; and who has the potential to shine brighter than [Derek] Lowe.


Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog

The thing i like most about this is that, even if Perez is a total bust, and regresses, the Mets can move this contract…had he ever signed for five years and $60 million, like he was initially looking for, he’d be a total albatross…but, if the Mets were to eat some of the money, there will always be a taker for a 28–year-old lefty earning, say, $16 million over two years.


Joel Sherman, New York Post

Now the Mets will hope the lack of focus or lack of maturity or whatever it is exactly that detours Perez from consistent excellence will melt away.


Buster Olney, ESPN

Personally, I like the signing for the Mets.


Jayson Stark of ESPN listed Perez under his three most outrageous contracts, writing:

The Mets win a bidding war with themselves to reel in Oliver Perez.


Jon Heyman, SI.com

The Mets had to get Oliver Perez back. They weren't comfortable with their main fallback option, which was [Randy] Wolf.

67 Responses to What They Said When The Mets Signed Oliver Perez Leave a Reply

  1. proof2006 4 years ago

    Stark. the only smart reporter.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      Yeah and you don’t get to hear that often.

    • icedrake523 4 years ago

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

        Heyman is a broken clock with no hands.

        • icedrake523 4 years ago

          So he’s a broken digital clock.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            Then half the lights are out, or has no battery to speak of.

  2. MB923 4 years ago

    Jayson Stark was the only one that was right.

    Joel Sherman, HA

    • Sherman didn’t really put forth an opinion that I could find…but I don’t see why you’d laugh at him for the statement I did quote.

      • How does your foot taste, Tim?

        • Wouldn’t have put it up there if I felt terribly ashamed or something for being wrong. It was buried in a chat, so no one would have called me out on it otherwise.

          • Gumby65 4 years ago

            Hey Tim, just be glad it wasn’t Shaq asking you a variation of the same question =)

      • PostMoBills 4 years ago

        He probably made the same mistake I did initially, assuming that each author was listed below his quote.

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Not really laughing at Sherman but more towards the Mets because what Sherman said was basically giving the Mets and their fans some high hopes.

      • I found the Sherman quote to be spot on, well said. (Pirate Fan)

  3. I was with Stark the whole time. Cerrone was way the hell off on that one. Why do you sign a guy to a contract like that when he’s already regressing? If the Mets let him go then Perez’s next deal would’ve been a minor league deal and he would’ve been out of the majors by now.

    • guydavis 4 years ago

      He was lights out in the second half of 2008. (no one look up the stats.. just trust me).

    • Hubbs2 4 years ago

      Regressing, really? He threw 194 innings while striking out almost 8.5/9. He had never thrown more games in a season, all while being 26 and retaining his stuff. His ’04 year could keep him hanging around for a while with teams hoping he finally figures it out

  4. alexchicago14 4 years ago

    “Signing Oliver Perez, is the next best signing since Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Barry Zito, and Alfonzo Soriano”

    -Joe Morgan 09′

  5. The Mets had to get Oliver Perez back. They weren’t comfortable with their main fallback option, which was [Randy] Wolf.

    LOL!! Thats why the METS suck!!

  6. Gumby65 4 years ago

    Heard this: Buster Olney liked the way champagne made him feel last night. This morning, not so much.
    –Buster Olney

  7. Giorgi Almonte 4 years ago

    finally, now stupid people could stop talking about minaya, he did a pretty descend job!!

  8. rayking 4 years ago

    Say what you will about Minaya, but the biggest idiot may have been Boras – “the Mets floated a four-year, $44 MM deal, but Perez and Scott Boras wanted the chance to re-enter the free agent market after three years.”

    Looks like he gets to re-enter the free agent market even sooner than he hoped.

  9. BaronOfBacon 4 years ago

    I find it baffling that NO ONE except Stark was right about this one. Could they not see how bad and outrageous a contract it was from the moment the Mets signed it? They way overpaid for Perez. For similar money, they could have tried to get Derek Lowe who has pitched infinitely better than Perez did during this contract (but that’s like saying you did better than the worst). NO ONE and I mean NO ONE was going to give Perez $12MM.

    • Matt 4 years ago

      The Mets did try for Lowe. They weren’t comfortable giving him 4 years and he signed with the Braves when they offered him a 4-year contract. I agree that the Mets overpaid for Perez, but it’s untrue that they chose him over Lowe.

  10. rockfordone 4 years ago

    All teams make mistakes. Look at my White Sox – Schwisher-Manny- Griffey- Linebreak (misspelled for a reason)

    • jwsox 4 years ago

      Swisher was not a mistake he actually had a reapply good season for them and was supposed to be the next 1st basemen after konerk left. But ozzies huge ego plus swishers craziness plus ozzies man crush on dewayne wise led to him being gone. Griffey was not a mistake he actually hit pretty well, had that awesome outfield assist from center straight to aj I believe against the twins and most of all brought people to the. Ball park. Linebrink also only a mistake because he got injured and never was the same. And manny still hit very well in terms of average and on base percent for the sox

      • rockfordone 4 years ago

        Swisher hit .219. Sat on bench for playoffs

        • bjsguess 4 years ago

          The only mistake the Sox made with Swisher was trading him away. Acquiring Swisher was a smart move.

          That year is a great example of completely blowing the statistical analysis of a player. His BB, K rate, and ISO were all within his career averages. What were the outliers? His BABIP was down to 249 (was 300 just the year before). Slight decreae in other categories plus a major decrease in a “luck” category = poor season.

          Swisher was a consistent player. Too bad Williams blew it. One of the best moves Cashman has ever made was fleecing Williams.

    • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

      Even if some of those were “mistakes” they aren’t nearly on the level of Perez. The names you mentioned were either traded or not brought back. The Sox weren’t stuck with an immovable contract.

  11. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    Alright fine, it was the only move at the time. But was it worth 12 un-moveable dollars? Omar Minaya made a terrible signing, the end.

  12. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I really like this post! One of my faves on this site for sure. Its always nice to go back and see how deals were looked at before the benefit of hindsight.

  13. Minaya gets slammed, but let’s look at who he worked for. Jeff Wilpon (“My dad says I’m in charge”) had his finger up every contract and it’s been that way since they co-opted the team from Doubleday in ’01. The fans know it, the rival GMs know it, everyone knows it.

    And, I wonder how anyone here would react as an employee if your salary was getting paid out of a pyramid scheme, and no one picks up the phone when you try to dial the number on your 401k statement. Want to know what happened to the 10mph? I’m sure there’s more there that meets the eye.

    And I’m sure that there are plenty of GMs with cash-in-pocket circling around Citi Field ready to snap up all those toss-offs that Minaya signed in earnest. Fact is the Mets didn’t have the resources to support their stars. The minors are a joke, their medical teams and their business managers can’t seem to agree about what goes wrong with their players, their clubhouse staff was riddled with criminals with mafia ties, etc the list goes on. So let’s not shovel it all on Minaya. Pagan, Dickey, Pelfrey, Feliciano, Davis, plenty to give him credit for. He couldn’t swing at a two-strike curveball for Beltran.

    • Matt 4 years ago

      Holy stream of consciousness.

      And the minor league system is not a joke.

  14. yes, alexis rios is a better example.

  15. Buster Olney and Jon Heyman prove time and time again that they must have compromising photos of some bigwigs in this industry.

  16. jayson stark can’t be too disappointed with his comment lol

  17. buster olney is mad though lol

  18. Bryz 4 years ago

    I remember when this signing occurred, I was a bit surprised because Perez had definitely not been consistent in his career, and I thought Wolf would have been a much better option for the Mets.

    Of course, I have no proof that I actually thought that 2 years ago, so I fully expect to receive a boatload of “Hindsight is 20/20, Andrew Bryz-Gornia!” replies. :-)

  19. 0vercast 4 years ago

    Very interesting article. I’d like to see more like this.

  20. Matthew Cerrone 4 years ago

    TO be fair, I wanted Derek Lowe, NOT Perez. But, once Lowe signed, and the Mets were in the position they were in with Boras (after insisting they had to sign a pitcher), I wrote what I wrote. It’s still a ridiculous statement, by me, but it’s a tad less ridiculous when in context, i think.

    • But what I don’t understand is how someone could have watched him pitch for the Mets for 2-and-a-half years and still thought that someone with his issues and a $12 MM contract would be movable. The Mets only acquired him as a throw-in in the Roberto Hernandez-Xavier Nady trade, which seems to indicate that even the Pirates knew that he had zero trade value when he was younger and threw harder. Perez was having velocity issues when he first came to the Mets in ’06, they continued in ’07 (when he would hit 91-92 max on a good day as opposed to 94-95), and they got a little better once Rick Peterson was fired and Dan Warthen replaced him in 08, but then after this contract, they came back. There was no way in hell that any team would be willing to take a $12 MM risk on LOLlie Perez, who had no hope of ever being consistent because he clearly has Charlie Sheen-type mental problems. As Stark pointed out then, the Mets were competing with themselves because no other team wanted him at such a steep price.

      To me, it doesn’t just stop with the refusal to go after Lowe/Wolf, established starters who have good track records, but it extends into last offseason when the front office refused to sign any starting pitching (e.g. Piniero and Lackey) because as Fred Wilpon said, “Our baseball people told us that the starters we have are better than who was available,” a quote that still amazes me for more than one reason. Piniero and Lackey were MUCH better options than John Maine and LOLlie. Perhaps if they would have been honest about their money issues, the fanbase would be a little more forgiving, but they lied to us and they deserve no sympathy from anybody. But I digress -it was a terrible signing at the time, and its a terrible signing now.

  21. Guest 4 years ago

    I wish we could somehow look at the type pad comments. Great times

  22. crashcameron 4 years ago

    bottom line is the Mets are a mess.
    were and are a deep-seeded mess

  23. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    I think the mets held those writers hostage and forced them to write that.

  24. kräftig. entschieden 4 years ago

    “A’s get a one-year (or possibly half-year) rental of Matt Holliday for a package (Huston Street, Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith) one AL exec summed up as “nothing they’ll miss much.”

    Made my day.

    • Dylan 4 years ago

      Cargo’s numbers wouldn’t be even close to what they are now in Oakland….so he’s not that far off…Bailey>Street

  25. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    What would they say if you asked them now?

    Ben: “I was wrong”
    Matthew: “I was wrong, and the contract is immovable”
    Joel: “I never really gave an opinion”
    Buster: “My medication hadn’t kicked in yet that day”
    Jayson: “Listen to me more often, and you’ll live longer”
    Jon: “Well, I’m always wrong, so don’t act surprised”

  26. This why I stopped buying baseball preview magazines.

    I can make my own stupid predictions.

  27. I particularly love the Matthew Cerroni quote, saying the contract would be movable if he suffered a complete meltdown. Any player who has a meltdown is going to be hard to move when they cost millions of dollars. Look at the Mariner’s dilemma with Chone Figgins (whom I maintain still has value, but is in a bad situation hitting behind Ichiro).

  28. not an omar-basher, but who put him in that situation? who signed and re-signed guys like el duque, alou, julio franco, alex cora, delgado (option), frenchy, tatis…

    the dude went into perpetual band-aid mode with a team that had a solid core but needed more perspective and planning. i was OK w the ollie contract at the time and preferred him to lowe… i still don’t understand where his velocity went.

  29. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    you cant make moves based on your fans

  30. Giorgi Almonte 4 years ago

    thanx, a smart person here, thanx God!!

  31. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    Uh, no he’s right. Wolf signed a one year deal with the Dodgers in 2009 after he was on the Padres and Astros in 2008.

  32. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    But was 12 million dollars 105 walks and 4.22 ERA the right move?

  33. WolandJR 4 years ago

    The same thing could be said about the Bartolo Colon trade Minaya engineered with the Expos…

    Minaya is short sighted and a poor judge of the comparative value of players. He deserves all the hindsight ridicule he gets.

  34. John McFadin 4 years ago

    Are you actually saying Heyman has credibility? That might be your first problem.

  35. – tatis was great for a year, what was the likelihood of him being that good again? why bother bringing him back?
    – delgado had a bad hip, bad back and little chance to make an impact that year (which everyone knew) and like a 12 million dollar option
    – frenchy was great when?

    like i said, i’m not an omar basher, the original el duque deal was great, he gets credit for dickey, pagan and a lot of others, but that to me doesn’t excuse the big ticket whiffs that were cumulatively more harm than his successes were good.

    and on ollie’s velocity… i still don’t get how whatever happened is still at play with him never seeing 90mph+…

  36. That’s a bunch of crap. I, for one, remember getting into an epic fight with a mets fan on this site back when they resigned guy saying he was ultimately going to be a disaster because he can’t focus. This mets fan kept quoting statistics about how much break Ollie had and how he was going to dominate and perhaps win a cy young.

    Wish I could remember the name of this guy.

  37. bjsguess 4 years ago

    Nobody = virtually everyone on this site?

    This was not considered a popular move at the time amongst commentators here. The only thing more absurd than this signing was the framing Boras did comparing him to Koufax.

    Personally, I didn’t like the deal at the time. I thought it was an overpay by a fair amount of money. I did not see his epic collapse though. Thought that he would be a serviceable back of the rotation guy at worst. He proved me wrong there.

  38. you arent serious; comparing Holliday track record to Lollie’s?

  39. BaronOfBacon 4 years ago

    That was my point. They OVERPAID. NO ONE was bidding for Ollie at the time but the Mets.

  40. Giorgi Almonte 4 years ago

    thanx another smart guy, you’re right, like i said when u sign a player u cant see the future…

  41. Guest 4 years ago

    Injuries perhaps? But when hes bad, hes BAD.

  42. Hubbs2 4 years ago

    Except the Colon trade was aimed at single season success. The Expos were facing contraction, why would he care about prospects

  43. Giorgi Almonte 4 years ago

    dude when u sign a player u cant see his future, u sign a player depending wht he did couples years ago, Minaya did that, some players did better than expected and u know..

Leave a Reply