The Nationals on Friday formally announced the completion of their two-year deal with left-handed reliever Oliver Perez. The veteran southpaw will reportedly take home a $7MM guarantee, paying him $3MM in 2016 and $4MM in 2017.
The 34-year-old Perez, a client of Scott Boras, figures to step into the role that was occupied by Matt Thornton over the past season-and-a-half in D.C. — that of a left-handed specialist. Perez is coming off somewhat of a mixed season, as he was excellent in 29 frames for the D-backs in a similar lefty specialist capacity before struggling following a trade to the Astros.
All told, he pitched to a 4.17 ERA with 51 strikeouts against 15 walks in 49 innings last season and held opposing left-handers to a meager .185/.235/.283 batting line. Of course, on the flip side of that dominance, right-handed batters tattooed Perez for a .310/.417/.465 triple slash.
Perez will be part of a largely restructured Nationals bullpen that will include recent trade acquisition Trevor Gott as well as new signees Shawn Kelley and Yusmeiro Petit. The Nats are also said to be looking at potential trades of Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen, creating the distinct possibility that first-year manager Dusty Baker will enter the 2016 campaign with a vastly different relief corps than the one that proved to be fairly problematic for the Nationals in 2015.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez was the first to report the deal and the terms (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provided the contract breakdown.