Diamondbacks Sign Oliver Perez

SUNDAY: Perez passed his physical and the deal is now official, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com.

FRIDAY: The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez on a two-year, $4.25MM deal, pending physical. Perez, a client of Scott Boras, will earn $1.75MM for the coming year and $2.5MM in 2015.


Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. He has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted .254/.346/.316 against him in that time, while righties have had a tougher time getting on base but slugged at a higher clip with a .237/.309/.411 batting line.

Prior to the 2009 season, Perez famously signed an ill-fated three-year, $36MM contract to remain with the Mets coming off a pair of solid seasons in New York. He would go on to pitch just 112 1/3 innings over the life of that contract, yielding a 6.81 ERA with more walks (100) than strikeouts (99). He didn't pitch in the Major Leagues at all in 2011 before his resurgence with Seattle the following year.

Left-handed relief was an area of need for the D'Backs throughout much of the 2013 campaign and was one of the factors that led Arizona GM Kevin Towers to make an intra-division trade that sent Ian Kennedy to the Padres in exchange for lefty Joe Thatcher, relief prospect Matt Stites and a compensation round B draft choice. However, Thatcher struggled mightily in Arizona, pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 9 1/3 innings for the Snakes.

Towers has done quite a bit of wheeling and dealing in regards to his bullpen this season, as he dealt Heath Bell (and most of his salary) to the Rays in a three-team deal that also included the Reds and also flipped blocked third base prospect Matt Davidson to the White Sox for closer Addison Reed. Additionally, Arizona claimed lefty Santos Rodriguez off waivers from the White Sox and locked up right-handers Brad Ziegler and Josh Collmenter with a two-year contract extensions.

Perez was the final unsigned left-handed reliever to have seen significant big league action in 2013. Peers such as Boone Logan, Javier Lopez, Matt Thornton, Scott Downs, Manny Parra and J.P. Howell also signed multi-year deals on the open market.

The signing was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter), while Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier reported that the two sides were closing in on a multi-year deal (Twitter links). Heyman was first to report that the deal was for two years. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 had the final financial terms (via Twitter), while MLBDailyDish.com's Chris Cotillo (via Twitter) and Heyman (via Twitter) reported developments in the price tag. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

21 Responses to Diamondbacks Sign Oliver Perez Leave a Reply

  1. Dbacksfan44 1 year ago

    Solid signing, although hopefully it wasn’t for more than two years

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Hard to judge without knowing the AAV. Could be a solid signing or an awful one.

      • NickinIthaca 1 year ago

        Thankfully, Omar Minaya is no longer a GM

  2. Marvin Marshall 1 year ago

    This likely means that Thatcher is on his way out. AZ’s BP was already crowded after Arroyo’s signing pushed Delgado to the BP.

  3. mmiller54 1 year ago

    I think this is a good move for Arizona’s bullpen as long as it isn’t too much of an overpay. The bullpen is shaping up to be a lot more solid than last year’s. And I’m excited for when Stites and Barrett can join the pen.

  4. Tony Matias 1 year ago

    Wondering if Boras is “disciplining” the Mariners for going with Cano because of the whole Jay Z switch? No Morales (so far). No Perez (anymore). Think Boras has a little vindictive streak in him?

    Either way and depending on the contract, I think Perez is a good pickup for the DBacks.

  5. Rook 1 year ago

    That pretty much seals the deal on Barrett, Stites and Harris. Theres just no room left in the pen unless Delgado or Putz or someone else is traded.
    I like the idea of a second lefty though.

  6. Andy Patton 1 year ago

    Having watched Ollie pitch last year quite a bit, DBacks got a good deal here on this one. He’s still got good stuff and is quite a competitor!

  7. mmiller54 1 year ago

    Ok if it’s $4.25 million over 2 years, then this is a steal for the Dbacks.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Not sure I’d call it a steal. There is a reason Perez was unsigned until now. He has posted an fWAR of -0.7 in 195 IP since becoming a reliever in 2009. Also he has only had success when he has kept his HR/FB well below 10%, something that is unlikely to happen in Arizona.

      • Rook 1 year ago

        That -0.7 fWAR includes 2009 and 2010 when his era was 6.80. He’s been much better the past two seasons. I put more stock in the recent trend myself. 1.5 WAR over two seasons for a RP isn’t horrible.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

          I don’t put a lot of faith in his 2012 performance which was propped up by a 2.6% HR/FB rate. In 2013 his HR/FB climbed back to 9.8% but still well below his career and league average. Perez benefited a lot from his FB staying inside the park in Seattle. Arizona will not be so forgiving.

          • mmiller54 1 year ago

            Still though, at about 2 million per year, we can afford to see if his last two years are sustainable. If we get two years lie his 2013 numbers (which is possible given that we play in Petco and AT&T Park as well as NL relievers often facing pinch hitters off the bench). I believe that 2013 is close to what he’ll do again, so he would be worth the $2 million/year.
            This article also brings up interesting points about Perez in relation to the market value for lefty relievers : link to fangraphs.com

          • Red_Line_9 1 year ago

            Do you have the charts that display that his fly balls at Safeco would have been HR in Phoenix? That’s interesting… and maybe the only flaw in what seems like a solid signing

  8. onemanrevival 1 year ago

    I know it’s been a while, but it’s still probably a good idea to keep him away from laundry carts.

  9. AZDbacksfan1 1 year ago

    This probably means that either Thatcher is leaving or Harris is not making the roster. I’d rather trade Thatcher but it would make KT’s trade of Kennedy even more ridiculous.

  10. TheRealRyan 1 year ago

    He was an inexpensive signing, so that is good, but his 30% GB rate could end up being very painful in AZ.

  11. ballybunion 1 year ago

    Has anybody else noticed Kevin Towers can’t stay away from former Padres players he had when he was their GM? Where will it all end?

  12. Always loved Ollie, when he was a bucco, happy he is seeing some success as a reliever

  13. Chris Kujawa 1 year ago

    I can’t wait till he makes an appearance at Citi Field. That will be a loud reception!

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