Oliver Perez Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
- After a rough outing today against the Nationals in which he gave up a pair of homers to career minor leaguers, this is probably the end of the line for Perez, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Even before this afternoon's performance, Martino says that he couldn't find anyone in organization who truly believed that the Perez experiment would work.
- Martino (via Twitter) has been told that Perez won't be released tonight but he wouldn't be surprised to see the Mets cut Perez tomorrow or shortly thereafter.
- A person with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking told Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger that no decision on Perez would be made before today.
- McCullough (via Twitter) agrees that the end of the left-hander's time in New York is near though, pointing out that even supportive pitching coach Dan Warthen, says Perez's pitches are not good enough.
- After the team's 7-4 win over the Nationals today, manager Terry Collins said he wants to have compassion for the hurler, but the reality is that he needs to pitch better, writes Rich Coutinho of MetsBlog.
- Collins realizes now that his intensity has worked against him in the past and he's determined not to let it happen again, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
Hot dogs, green grass all out at Shea. Here are some Mets links for you today..
- Plenty of people in the Mets organization are ready to give up on Oliver Perez, but pitching coach Dan Warthen is still a believer, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Sources say that several prominent voices in the organization have been wanting to cut the left-hander for weeks, but Perez is still in camp thanks in large part to Warthen's support. Even with the backing of the pitching coach, Perez will probably be released before Opening Day as many in the front office are skeptical that Perez can recapture some of his old magic as a reliever.
- Terry Collins and Paul DePodesta are reunited with the Mets, writes Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports. When he was the GM of the Dodgers, DePodesta pushed for Collins to become the club's next skipper after Jim Tracy. Owner Frank McCourt ultimately rejected the idea and fired DePodesta. When the 61-year-old was being considered for the Mets' managerial position, DePodesta gave a strong reccomendation to his boss, Sandy Alderson.
- The trustee in charge of recovering the money lost by the victims of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme plans to go after more funds associated with owners of the Mets, a source within baseball told ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. The trustee already is seeking $1 billion from Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family.
It's been a rough week for Oliver Perez, and given his overall tenure with the Mets, that is no small feat. Thanks to his 9.00 spring ERA and inability to throw strikes or reach 90 miles per hour with his fastball, the Mets removed Perez from consideration for the starting rotation. Those difficulties are likely to lead to Perez's failure in the bullpen, too, and his eventual release.
If this is where it ends, Perez will almost certainly be viewed as a cautionary tale from an acquisition perspective. After all, the Mets signed Perez to a three-year, $36MM contract prior to the 2009 season, only to receive 112 1/3 innings of 6.81 ERA pitching. So it may surprise some to find out that both times teams traded for Oliver Perez, they came out ahead.
The San Diego Padres signed Oliver Perez as an amateur free agent back in 1999. By 2002, he made his big league debut as a 20-year-old, displaying both the now-faded ability to strike batters out in droves and his still-present tendency to walk more than his share of hitters. Nevertheless, he offered tantalizing ability, leading to the Padres' decision to trade Perez, a 24-year-old Jason Bay and minor leaguer Corey Stewart to Pittsburgh for a 32-year-old Brian Giles.
While Giles had a decent-but-costly run of strong offense and diminishing defense for the Padres, Perez and Bay quickly made the deal look like a steal for the Pirates. Perez posted a 2.98 ERA in 196 innings, while Bay posted a .907 OPS and won the NL Rookie of the Year.
Put it wins above replacement terms, Perez earned a WAR of 5.1 in 2004, well above Giles' 3.0 and Bay's 2.2. In fact, Perez's 2004 was a more valuable season than any that anyone in the trade would enjoy, other than Jason Bay's 2009.
But contrast the $8.8MM salary Giles earned in 2004 with the $321K Perez took home, and $305K from Bay, and the gap becomes enormous.
Perez did go on to struggle in 2005 and 2006, with Bay carrying the lion's share of the value for the Pirates in subsequent years. Still, when Pittsburgh decided to unload Perez in 2006, it was the receiving team, the New York Mets, who benefited.
On July 31, 2006, New York traded starting right fielder Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Perez and Roberto Hernandez, a relief pitcher tabbed to replace the injured Duaner Sanchez. And while Perez struggled over the remainder of the 2006 season, he posted a 1.4 WAR in 2007 and a 1.5 WAR in 2008. By contrast, Nady provided -0.9 WAR in 2007 for the Pirates, and 1.9 WAR in 2008. Roberto Hernandez even chipped in another 0.2 WAR for the Mets at the tail end of 2006 to even out Nady and Perez that season.
Naturally, there are Mets fans who blame the trade for the subsequent contract debacle, just as a divorced couple often turns on the person who introduced them. Perez, in an odd bit of symmetry, followed his 1.4 and 1.5 WAR seasons in 2007 and 2008 with a -1.4 mark in 2009 and -1.5 in 2010, as if to erase every bit of good he'd done the team.
Still, all that proves is that signing Oliver Perez to a massive free agent contract hasn't been a good idea. Trading for Perez, on the other hand, is a winning proposition. Let this be a lesson to the other 29 teams, who probably have a few weeks at most before the only way they can acquire Perez is for free.