Odalis Perez Rumors

Quick Hits: Bradley, Reds, Perez, Yankees

On this date in 2010, Bengie Molina signed a one-year deal with San Francisco. The Giants sent the backstop to their eventual World Series opponents once Buster Posey forced his way into an everyday role. Now, Molina is the lone noteworthy free agent catcher remaining and he's without an obvious suitor. Here's the latest from around the major leagues…

  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told MLB.com's Greg Johns that he is aware that Milton Bradley was arrested and is monitoring the situation as he awaits more information.
  • A baseball insider tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds can't afford a $20MM player. That could make it difficult for the club to retain Joey Votto and Jay Bruce when their current extensions expire.
  • Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com hears that Odalis Perez is nearing a $300K deal with a Korean team (Twitter link). The 32-year-old left-hander last appeared in the majors for the 2008 Nationals, when he posted a 4.34 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 159 2/3 innings.
  • The Yankees appear to be focused on Andruw Jones, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests it's too early to rule them out on another Scott Boras client, Johnny Damon (Twitter link).

Odds & Ends: Igarashi, Cubs, Cardinals

Links for Friday…

Why Are So Many Pitchers Still Unsigned?

We are nearing Memorial Day, and many pitchers whose resumes would normally have landed them at least a minor-league deal by now remain unsigned.

  • Pedro Martinez is still homeless. While the complication may be in part due to Pedro's salary demands, it is surprising that nobody has signed him. Yes, his ERA was an unsightly 5.61 in 2008, but his 2007 stint was far better-2.57 ERA in 28 innings. His 87 strikeouts against 44 walks in 109 innings also suggests a pitcher who can help a team on the back end of a rotation. Given that it is Pedro Martinez, there is upside well beyond that, of course.
  • Odalis Perez remains strangely unsigned after his even stranger signing that wasn't with Washington this spring. Perez turns 32 on June 7, and had a perfectly average 2008, with a 4.34 ERA in 159 2/3 innings. Obviously, those numbers could help any number of teams.
  • Paul Byrd did what he always does in 2008-posted an ERA in the mid 4s (4.60 to be exact), struck out around four per nine innings, and kept his team in the game. Yet Byrd has yet to sign with anyone, either.

The lack of movement on these pitchers can't be due to overwhelming performances by all the starters currently employed. After all, there's Jamie Moyer and his 8.15 ERA, Carlos Silva and his 8.48 ERA, Oliver Perez and his 9.97 ERA… plenty of others at sixes and sevens, from Scott Olsen to Scott Kazmir. (Even as I type this, Moyer is giving up another home run. No, really.)

My suspicion is that teams view Martinez, Perez or Byrd as band-aid solutions. And that would be fine, normally. After all, band-aids have a rich tradition of stopping people from bleeding.

But the trade market for pitchers has the most top targets it's had in years. The Padres are already 10 games out, and Jake Peavy will likely hit the market. If Cincinnati fades, Aaron Harang could be available. If Toronto falls back to earth- and the smart money still has them finishing fourth- Roy Halladay could be someone else's ace by August. And Cleveland's Cliff Lee will be a prominent target as well.

There are even second-tier options that can help teams now and in the future, from Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie to Seattle's Erik Bedard.  And in the current economic climate, teams that fall out of the race may have even greater incentive to shed salary as soon as possible.

So it may well be that for veteran free agents, the market will only pick up once the trade deadline has come and gone. And with so many targets out there, once the deadline deals are made July 31, there may not be any place for Martinez, Perez or Byrd to land.

The Dodgers’ Rotation

They're 15-8, in first place in the NL West, but the Dodgers face questions about a rotation that includes three ERAs of 5.50 or more. Behind Chad Billingsley and Randy Wolf, they have Clayton Kershaw, who hasn't pitched out the the fifth inning his last two starts, James McDonald, who has walked a batter an inning this year, and Eric Stults, who's allowing two baserunners an inning. Yahoo's Tim Brown takes stock of the rotation and how Ned Colletti will progress with it.

  • Brown says it's unlikely the Dodgers will add Pedro Martinez, Paul Byrd, Odalis Perez or Freddy Garcia.
  • One scout's analysis: "There's plenty of pitching available. None you'd want."  
  • Brown suggests the Dodgers need a club like the Indians, Reds or Mariners to fall from contention so some quality arms become available.  
  • If David Price pitches his way into the Rays' rotation, Jeff Niemann could become trade bait.  

The Dodgers could rely on pitchers already in the organization. Hiroki Kuroda is rehabbing, though MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports the righty is likely weeks away from a return. Jason Schmidt is rehabbing too, according to GurnickJeff Weaver pitched well against the Padres last night and Eric Milton and Shawn Estes are stashed away in the minors.

Odalis Perez Likes The Marlins

According to Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, free agent lefty Odalis Perez would love to play for the Marlins.  However, they have not contacted his agent.  Perez might sign for less than a million bucks again, but he wants a Major League deal.  Perez told Yahoo’s David Brown he has nine or ten interested teams after he forced his release by refusing to show up to camp for the Nationals.  He’ll pitch in the WBC for the Dominican Republic.

Berardino adds that the Marlins have a standing offer to southpaw reliever Will Ohman.

“Nine Or 10 Teams” Interested In Odalis Perez?

We haven’t heard from left-hander Odalis Perez since the Nationals released him after he failed to show up to camp.  Well, Yahoo! Sports’ David Brown caught up with him on Tuesday.

Perez is currently in camp with the Dominican Republic squad, preparing for the World Baseball Classic.  He told Brown that "nine or 10 teams" are interested in him and that he plans on using the WBC as an outlet to show he still has value.

The 31-year-old went 7-12 for the Nats last season with a 4.54 ERA.  He agreed to, then ultimately declined a $850K minor league contract from Washington just a few weeks ago.

Full Story | 0 Comments | Categories: Odalis Perez

Nats Release No-Show Odalis Perez

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the Nationals have released left-hander Odalis Perez because of his failure to report to spring training.

"He would not return our phone calls and after talking internally with [manager] Manny Acta, [pitching coach] Randy St. Claire and the organization, we all feel it’s important that we want players that want to be here and help us win. We made that decision this morning," GM Jim Bowden said. "We left messages yesterday for his agent, we left messages for Odalis. Again I left messages for him this morning. They made their point pretty clear. We need to turn the page. We have a lot of pitchers in camp that are committed to helping us win."

The mandatory reporting date for all players was Sunday, February 22.  Perez, 31, agreed to a minor league contract worth $850K two weeks ago, but later decided he wanted more compensation.  Now he won’t see a dime from the Nationals. 

He is still expected to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, which starts on March 3.  A strong showing there could lead to a deal with a new club.

Odalis Perez Not Returning Calls

According to the AP, Odalis Perez is M.I.A.  He missed the mandatory Spring Training report date, and isn’t returning calls from the Nationals or his agent.  GM Jim Bowden believes he has an agreement on an $850K minor league deal.  Bowden ultimately expects Perez to honor the agreement.  Perez’s statement from a few days ago:

"I thought it best and I prefer to sit in my house if the Nationals do not show more appreciation for my work.  Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it. I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals."

Bowden told Chico Harlan of the Washington Post that he dealt with a similar situation with Tony Fernandez in ’95.

Odalis Perez Holdout

THURSDAY, 10:01am: Harlan has quotes from Stan Kasten on the Perez holdout:

"Our understanding is that he has an agreement which both MLB and the union considering binding, and we think the best course would be for [Perez] to come in and honor the agreement. I’ve known Odie a long time, he came up with me in Atlanta and he’s had a nice career for himself. I think this would be a very ill-advised and foolish way for him to conduct the next part of his career."

TUESDAY, 9:16am: Harlan says the mandatory reporting date for those participating in the WBC is today, and Perez intends to pitch in the tournament.  The Nationals have not been in able to get in touch with Perez, says Pete McElroy of MASN.

MONDAY, 6:23pm: Chico Harlan of the Washington Post talked to Nationals GM Jim Bowden, who says he has a "signed term sheet that has been confirmed by the players’ association" for Perez.  However, a source of Harlan’s says the MLBPA’s database of approved contracts does not show this deal.

3:47pm: Odalis Perez‘s $850K minor league contract did seem light at the time.  Now word comes from ESPN’s Enrique Rojas that Perez has asked his agent to renegotiate the contract.  He regrets giving his verbal approval and will not supply his signature to the current deal.  Perez has yet to show up for Spring Training, saying:

"I thought it best and I prefer to sit in my house if the Nationals do not show more appreciation for my work.  Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it. I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals."

While Perez says he’s not negotiating with other clubs, he added:

"I will play in the World Classic for the Dominican Republic and show everybody that I’m in great shape.  I hope to find a team that values me, otherwise I’ll go home."

This isn’t the first time Perez reacted childishly when he felt he wasn’t getting proper recognition.

Rangers Sign Jason Jennings

10:54pm: Renck says Jennings can make $1.45MM in incentives for innings pitched, on top of his $800K base salary.

9:07am: According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rangers signed pitcher Jason Jennings to a minor league deal. 

Jennings was a bust after the Astros acquired him for the ’07 season; he had surgery for a torn flexor tendon in his elbow in August of that year.  Sound familiar?  It’s the same injury Ben Sheets has.  Jennings was still able to get $4MM guaranteed from the Rangers before the ’08 season, reminding us how drastically the market has changed in one year.  Jennings had another flexor tendon surgery in May of ’08 (the first surgery "didn’t take.")  MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan notes that the Rangers had interest in Odalis Perez before he re-signed with the Nationals.  In a blog post, Sullivan looks at some other flexor tendon cases, with Andy Pettitte being the best one.