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.
As I wrote yesterday, Perez should be in the bullpen. Ken Takahashi will take over Perez’ start on Friday against the not-so-lowly Pirates.
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.
4 thoughts on “Mets Move Oliver Perez To Bullpen”
Dave, how would you compare Zito’s situation from last year to Perez’s situation today? Both are 5+ year players. Both are/were struggling lefties with pretty hefty contracts. Both have Boras as an agent.
Barry Zito gotted pulled from the rotation after going 0-6 with a 7.53 ERA last season. He never ended up pitching in relief though. He just missed one start and went back to the rotation. Remember, Zito was the 2002 Cy Young Award winner so he has much more of successful track record to fall back on than Oliver Perez. Zito’s proven that he has the stuff to be the best pitcher in his league. Perez has never even come close to that. So I think you have to see something out of Perez in the bullpen before he starts again. He won’t get the benefit of the doubt that a Zito would in a similar situation.
It looks like the Mets did a great job of not making a mess of the situation. Heck of a game last night. Bobby Cox should’ve pulled Javier Vazquez earlier, but we still deserved to lose that game for becoming too complacent after we scored early, like we’ve been doing all season.
TD, you nailed it! Agent Orange strikes again!