Odalis Perez Rumors

Odalis Perez Signs With Nationals

12:45pm: It’s official; the Nats have signed Perez to a minor league deal.  He certainly picked the right team to attempt to bounce back to relevancy.  He gets $850K if he makes the team. 

12:23pm:Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe says it appears likely Perez will sign with the Nats.  I imagine both offers were of the minor league variety.

TUESDAY, 9:02am:The Nats have an offer on the table for Perez, as do the Red Sox.  You’d think he’d prefer the opportunity in Washington.

MONDAY, 7:49pm: In January, the Mets met with Odalis Perez.  They scouted him in the Dominican Republic.  The Mets later signed Tony Armas Jr.  In February, Perez worked out for the Phillies, whose interest was characterized as "lukewarm."  The Phils later signed Kris Benson.  A third NL East team has entered the picture – MLB.com’s Bill Ladson says the Nationals have serious interest in the southpaw.

Perez might have to settle for a minor league deal, maybe with incentives to reach $2-3MM.  The 30 year-old pitched 137 innings of 5.57 ball for the Royals last year.

Odds and Ends: Howard, Aardsma, Odalis

Here we go, another random collection of links.

  • The Red Sox inked a couple of former closers to minor league deals: Dan Kolb and Dan Miceli.  No need to run out and pick them up for your fantasy team.  I think Papelbon is secure.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox are hunting for a lefty bench bat.  Tony Clark emailed him to say he’d love a return to Boston, but Cafardo says he’s not on the top of the list.  Clark hit .207/.265/.291 for the ’02 Sox.
  • A few comments from Pat Gillick on the Ryan Howard situation.  He says the Phillies are "open to anything."  Gillick also claimed arbitration hearings really aren’t all that contentious.  I guess that could be true, I’ve never been in the room for one.
  • The official acquisition of Octavio Dotel meant the White Sox DFA’d David Aardsma.  Aardsma, 26, has whiffed about a batter per inning over his last two seasons.  He has to have a little bit of trade value.
  • Impacto Deportivo says the Mets will meet with Odalis Perez.  Two left-handed O. Perez’s might confuse opponents, giving the Mets an advantage.  Really though it’s a good idea for Omar to stockpile some arms even if Odalis doesn’t have much left.  One thing’s for sure, he won’t be earning $7.75MM again.  (Hat tip to MetsBlog).
  • Looking for an MLBTR reader forum?  I offer you our Facebook discussion board.

Perrotto’s Latest

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus has quickly become another fine source for trade rumors.  Some highlights from his latest column:

  • The Twins would surrender a solid arm – maybe Jesse Crain, Juan Rincon, or Scott Baker – in return for a right-handed hitter.  My own speculation: perhaps Wayne Krivsky, looking to stabilize his bullpen, would trade Edwin Encarnacion for Rincon.  Rincon has been one of the best setup men in baseball for the past four years.  On the other hand, Baker could really flourish in the National League and Kyle Lohse may leave via free agency after the season.  Terry Ryan might want a more proven, reliable bat though.  Buster Olney throws out Morgan Ensberg‘s name in his blog today.
  • Some clubs already have center fielder Torii Hunter on the radar: the Red Sox, White Sox, Cardinals, and Rangers.  I think there is no doubt the Rangers go in for one of the "name" center fielders this winter.  I can see the Red Sox testing the waters but it would seem odd to block Jacoby Ellsbury for four or five years.  Hunter is making the contract year argument, hitting .324/.358/.618 in 35 games.  His previous career high in slugging was .524 in ’02.
  • Perrotto confirms the finding of Michael GluskinOdalis Perez and Chan Ho Park are two names on the Orioles’ target list of starting pitchers.  The O’s might have found some relief in the shrewd Jeremy Guthrie pickup – his last two starts against the Devil Rays and Red Sox were excellent.   

Orioles Have A List

Though it appears Adam Loewen won’t need surgery, the Orioles still don’t want to continue too far along with both Brian Burres and Jeremy Guthrie in the starting rotation.  Based on their last starts, Guthrie might be the one who sticks.

VP Jim Duquette has a list of about a dozen trade candidates, and apparently Josh Fogg and Byung-Hyun Kim aren’t included.  Duquette gave us a hint – a player from another team who has fallen out of favor and perhaps landed in the bullpen.  Zack Greinke and Kei Igawa fit the description, but they aren’t getting traded.  Shawn Chacon would hardly help.  Adam EatonWade MillerJeff Weaver?  Oh yes, Jeff Weaver.  Maybe a little Mazzone could get him right.   Got any other "fallen out of favor" starter candidates? 

UPDATE: Michael Gluskin was able to determine a few of the pitchers on Duquette’s radar, after talking to a club source.  The O’s have had internal discussions regarding Jason Davis, Odalis Perez, and Chan Ho Park.

Royals Have Arms To Spare

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star discusses the Royals’ surplus of starting pitching with GM Dayton Moore in today’s article.  The Royals have Luke Hudson and Scott Elarton coming back from injuries very soon, so they may have an arm or two to spare.

The one obvious trade candidate right now is southpaw Odalis Perez, who turns 30 in June.  Elarton would come next, but he’s recovering from a torn labrum.  Perez at least has no health issues.  He simply has performance issues, with just 14 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

Perez began throwing a sinker this year, and it’s at least helped him get his groundball rate up to where it was in L.A.  He deserves to be someone’s fifth starter, probably in the NL.  While he’s earning $7.75MM in the last year of his contract, the Dodgers covered most of that.  From what I can determine, an acquiring team would probably have to pay him around $2MM.

Clark Fosler gives his take on the team’s oddly configured roster over at Royals Authority.   

Royals Trade Dessens, Graffanino

Busy day for Dayton Moore, as he acquired all sorts of pitchers for his veterans.

Let’s start with his first trade: Elmer Dessens to the Dodgers for Blake Johnson, Julio Pimentel, Odalis Perez, and cash.  If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of Johnson or Pimentel, so let’s start there.

Pimentel and Johnson were ranked 16th and 17th among Dodgers prospects entering the 2006 season by Baseball America.  Pimentel is a 20 year-old converted outfielder currently struggling in High Class A.  Pimentel’s teammate Blake Johnson is a 21 year-old righty who was drafted in the second round in ’04.  Just a couple of live arms to help the Royals’ system; collect enough and someone’s bound to pan out.

Odalis Perez is an intriguing pickup for a team like the Royals.  He immediately becomes their most talented pitcher despite his awful 2006.  Looking at his peripherals, his strikeout rate dropped this season and his hits allowed skyrocketed.  Perez’s control remains excellent.  The southpaw had mixed results in the World Baseball Classic this March.  He claimed to be in the best shape of his life in February following an ’05 season marred by an oblique strain, shoulder inflammation, and biceps tendinitis.

Financials: Perez is due around $2.75MM for the rest of this season, $7.75MM next season, and a $1.5MM buyout for ’08 if the Royals don’t want him for $9MM.  Of that $12MM, the Dodgers are paying $8MM.  That leaves KC with just a $4MM obligation to Perez for the rest of this year and his age 29 season.  He’s projected to be worth that much in ’07 alone, and the Royals don’t have much to lose. 

As for Dessens, he’s your run-of-the-mill 34 year-old reliever.  He’ll earn roughly $640,000 for the rest of ’06 and $1.7MM next year.

The Royals also shipped Tony Graffanino to the Brewers for Jorge De La Rosa.  De La Rosa, a 25 year-old southpaw, has fared poorly in the Majors with a 5.12 ERA in 65 innings.  He was traded to the Diamondbacks in the Curt Schilling deal in ’03 and then bounced to the Brewers in the Richie Sexson trade a few days later.  De La Rosa has dealt with elbow and control issues (they go hand in hand), but he’s still got a bit of promise.