Oliver Perez Rumors

Nationals Sign Oliver Perez

The Nationals signed Oliver Perez to a minor league deal and assigned him to minor league camp, the team announced (on Twitter). This marks the second time this week that an NL East rival has picked up a discarded Mets veteran; the Phillies signed Luis Castillo Monday.

The Nationals will be responsible for the Major League minimum salary if Perez makes the team and the Mets will assume the rest of his $12MM salary. Southpaws Sean Burnett and Doug Slaten figure to pitch at the major league level, while Perez works in the minors. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter) that Perez will begin the season at Triple-A.

The Nationals signed Perez on the recommendation of Spin Williams, a pitching coordinator who knows Perez, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Perez will report to minor league camp and work with Williams, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com (on Twitter).

As MLBTR's Agency Database shows, the Nationals already have eight Scott Boras clients: Rick AnkielAlex CoraDanny EspinosaAlberto GonzalezBryce HarperIvan RodriguezStephen Strasburg and Jayson Werth. Boras appears to have a strong working relationship with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.

Yahoo's Tim Brown first reported the deal.


Alderson On Perez, Castillo, Beato, Emaus, Reyes

Mets GM Sandy Alderson held a blogger conference call today, and Metsblog.com's Michael Baron has the transcript.  Here are some of the hot stove-related notes…

  • Fan sentiment "came into play" in Luis Castillo's release, Alderson said.  The Mets "became aware about the sentiment in New York for [Castillo and Oliver Perez]….It's difficult to overcome that, so you evaluate player performance against presumption in the minds of the fans."  In Perez's case, Alderson said the southpaw just didn't pitch well enough to make the roster, so the fans' thoughts were moot.
  • Alderson says if the Mets are in contention, the club will have the money available to add a player if necessary.
  • Alderson thinks his team's farm system is underrated but he says the Mets "need to be more aggressive and successful in developing players out of the draft."
  • "There is a very good possibility we will keep both our Rule 5 picks" Alderson said, in regards to Pedro Beato and Brad Emaus.  The GM said that Emaus' Rule 5 status was a major reason the team gave him every chance to win the second base job this spring.  "If he was not a Rule 5 draftee, he wouldn’t have presented the immediacy that he does," Alderson said.  "If he’s not the starting second baseman, I’m not sure how much he helps us in a bench role. At least at the outset, you’re going to give him every opportunity."
  • If the Mets have a reduced payroll next season, they should still be able to re-sign Jose Reyes if they wish, given the number of contracts the team has coming off the books this winter.

Nationals In Talks With Oliver Perez

The Nationals are in talks with free agent left-hander Oliver Perez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links). The Mets released Perez earlier in the week, so interested teams would only be responsible for paying the MLB minimum salary if they sign the 29-year-old. If the sides agree to terms, it will be a minor league deal, according to Heyman. 



D’Backs Not Interested In Oliver Perez

Though the Diamondbacks were eyeing left-handed relief help earlier in the month, they are not interested in Oliver Perez, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter). The Mets released the 29-year-old left-hander yesterday and reports have since established that the Yankees and Brewers are not interested in Perez, either.

Perez, now a free agent, is set to earn $12MM in 2011, the final year of his three-year, $36MM contract. If an MLB team signs him, they'll contribute about $400K of his salary and the Mets will pay the remaining $11.6MM.

As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier today, Barry Enright and either Armando Galarraga or Aaron Heilman figure to fill out the back of Arizona's rotation. Rule 5 pick Joe Paterson could make the team and Mike Hampton and Jordan Norberto provide additional depth from the left side. 

The Padres signed Perez as an amateur free agent in 1999 when current D'Backs GM Kevin Towers was San Diego's GM.


Heyman On Bautista, Wakefield, Dominguez, Perez

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jon Heyman of SI.com that he thought carefully before locking up Jose Bautista to a $65MM extension. "When you spend that kind of money, I don't think you can ever be completely comfortable," Anthopoulos said. "And I am one to agonize over everything, anyway,'' Both Anthopoulos and Bautista acknowledged that a second 54-homer season is unlikely, but that doesn't mean the former utility player can't produce. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors…

  • Boston's front office has not seriously considered cutting Tim Wakefield.
  • Dennys Reyes, who can opt out of his contract Friday, will likely make the team as well, according to Heyman.
  • Two scouts say Marlins third baseman Matt Dominguez isn't ready to hit in the major leagues. However, he's an above-average defender.
  • Though manager Joe Girardi won't say as much, Ivan Nova has locked up the Yankees' No. 4 starter job, according to Heyman.
  • It appears that Oliver Perez will find a job. The Yankees and Brewers aren't interested.
  • Scouts tell Heyman that Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson isn't far from the majors.

Yankees Have No Interest In Oliver Perez

Turns out the rumor was too good to be true. Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he has no interest in left-hander Oliver Perez, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter). The Yankees considered the former Met, according to SI.com, before concluding that they would be better off without him. "It's not something that makes sense for us," Cashman said.

The Mets released Perez yesterday, making him a free agent. If an MLB team signs Perez, they'll contribute about $400K of his salary, with the Mets responsible for the remaining $11.6MM.

Pedro Feliciano and Boone Logan give the Yankees two serviceable left-handers out of the bullpen, so they never seemed like a likely destination for the 29-year-old. The Brewers aren't interested in Perez, either.


Brewers Considering External Rotation Candidates

Though the Brewers will likely call on one of their current pitchers to fill out their rotation, the team is monitoring arms that could become available on waivers or through trades, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. GM Doug Melvin says he will “probably” fill the rotation from within.

"It's very difficult to make trades at this time of year because other teams are trying to preserve their depth,” Melvin said. “We're making a lot of calls."

Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, Melvin's two primary offseason acquisitions have had setbacks this spring. Greinke will miss at least one start with a cracked rib and Marcum has a stiff shoulder. The Brewers appeared to have depth early in the spring, but Mark Rogers (shoulder) and Manny Parra (back) have dealt with injuries as well.

The Brewers are not interested in Doug Davis, Oliver Perez or Kevin Millwood, according to McCalvy. Milwaukee has a full 40-man roster, which means they would have to remove a player from the roster to create space for a new addition. Internal rotation candidates Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Eulogio de la Cruz and Tim Dillard are among those on the roster.


Yankees Have Some Interest In Oliver Perez

Here's one for the back pages and talk show hosts. The Yankees have discussed Oliver Perez as a potential cheap addition, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). However, GM Brian Cashman doesn't seem enthused about the 29-year-old left-hander.

The Mets released Perez earlier today, eating his $12MM contract and ending his inconsistent five-year stint in New York. If the Yankees sign Perez, they would be responsible for paying him the MLB minimum salary and their crosstown rivals would be responsible for about $11.6MM.

Longtime Met Pedro Feliciano (upper arm) and Boone Logan (back) have dealt with soreness this spring, but both lefties made progress in recent days. It seems likely that Cashman was simply being diligent when he considered Perez.


Mets Release Oliver Perez

The Mets released lefty Oliver Perez, the team officially announced today.  The move comes three days after the release of second baseman Luis Castillo, as the team's new regime bailed on Omar Minaya's two worst contracts with one year remaining.  The Mets still owe Perez $12MM for 2011. 

Perez

Perez, 29, re-signed with the Mets on a three-year, $36MM deal in February of 2009.  The contract was fairly well-received in the media at the time.  The signing quickly became unpopular, with the southpaw posting the two worst seasons of his career.  The numbers: a 6.81 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 8.0 BB/9, and 1.7 HR/9 over 112 1/3 innings.  New GM Sandy Alderson allowed Perez a chance to make the 2011 club as a reliever, but he allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 9 2/3 spring innings.

The Phillies signed Castillo yesterday and appear to have big league playing time for him.  It'll be a much longer road back for Perez.  The Mets ate $18MM to make the pair go away, minus the Major League minimum if they play in the Majors.  The cuts should be popular with fans, and hopefully the team can generate a few positive storylines heading into the 2011 season.

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal first tweeted the news of Perez's release.


Mets Notes: Perez, Isringhausen, Castillo

Some Mets-related items…

  • Andy Martino of The New York Daily News says that GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins are scheduled to meet with Oliver Perez on Monday morning, and an announcement that the left-hander has been released could come shortly thereafter. 
  • ESPN New York's Adam Rubin passes along a press release issued by the Wilpons answering the $1 billion lawsuit filed against them in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. 
  • Perez left the Mets complex this morning and says no one has told him what's next, tweets Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal.  Costa says to expect a decision by tomorrow.
  • Pitching coach Dan Warthen says that no decision has been reached on Perez yet and he doubts that anything will happen today, Costa tweets.
  • Warthen's assessment is supported by a team official who told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the Mets are not expected to make any roster moves today.
  • Only an injury would prevent Jason Isringhausen from breaking camp with the Mets, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.  The 38-year-old said earlier this month that he would retire before accepting a minor league assignment.
  • Second baseman Luis Castillo will almost certainly have a new job within 24 hours after he clears waivers today at 1pm EST, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.  Olney points out that it's worth remembering Castillo's history and relationship with the Marlins.  When owner Jeffrey Loria visited the Vatican in 2002, he brought back a blessed cross for Castillo.