The only logical conclusion occured from Oliver Perez‘ early season struggles, he’s going to the bullpen to get “right”. Many of you were in favor of shipping him off to Triple-A Buffalo but that wasn’t likely to happen. Perez was afforded a veto of an option to the minors due to his major league service of more than five years.
In case you were wondering, Perez’ last and only career relief appearance was on September 2, 2002 for the Padres against the Rockies. He gave up one hit, no runs, and had 3 strikeouts.
It’s interesting to note that Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon made the trip all the way to Atlanta today for this decision. There was some talk that Perez may have a slight knee problem that could put him on the disabled list, then in the minors. But I’d have to think that Perez and Scott Boras would object to that plan since the knee problem seemed to be very minor.
If you think about this from Perez’ perspective there’s very little to gain from accepting a demotion to Buffalo. Then he’s stuck with no leverage about when he comes back. Certainly, the Mets wouldn’t want to pay $12 million/year for a minor league pitcher. But look at what’s happened to Dontrelle Willis. He’s been stuck in the minors since last season.
If I were Perez, there’s no way that I would accept the option to Buffalo either. I’d tell the Mets if they don’t want me on the major league roster to release me and pay out the rest of my $36 million. I have a feeling that conversation happened in not-so-many words.