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Washington Nationals Sign Oliver Perez

As stated yesterday, “[...] for outsiders looking in, giving Perez a chance on league minimum could make some sense.” That “sense” came to fruition today, as the Washington Nationals handed Perez a minor league contract. The contract guarantees the New York Mets castoff $414,000 if he proves himself worthy of spot on the Nationals 25-man roster, otherwise he’ll be relegated to minor league duty or an outright release. Regardless of the second chance, the lefty still has quite an uphill battle to earn a job in the bigs.

Perez, who will earn $11.586 million from the Mets this season, illustrated pretty clearly this Spring (and his career for that matter) that he is not reliever-material. The Mets hoped the southpaw could somehow adapt to the bullpen, and be the most expensive left-handed specialist in the history of baseball, but alas, it was never meant to be.

The former starter’s 2011 season looks pretty bleak. Since there’s only a week-and-a-half until Opening Day, Perez would seemingly have a hard time bumping Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann, or Tom Gorzelanny from the rotation. At best, Ollie could nab the long-man role in the back of the Nationals ‘pen and “hope” one of his starting teammates gets injured. At worst, which is more likely, the lucky millionaire will be optioned or sent packing [yet again.]

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