When former General Manager, Omar Minaya, handed Oliver Perez a three-year, $36 million deal in February 2009, it’s fair to assume he thought Perez would be a fixture in the Mets rotation for at least the next three seasons. However, since signing that contract, Perez has been anything but a fixture–posting just 3 Wins, 6.81 ERA, 1.98 WHIP, and walking more than he’s struck-out. The Mets’ first reaction was to send Perez to the minors–an action Perez initially refused. He eventually accepted the assignment, and actually seemed improved, but alas, upon receiving the call, he looked like the same old headcase.
Even though the Mets have two open rotation spots currently, Oliver Perez is very unlikely to be considered for either one. This begs the question–will Perez become a full-time bullpen arm for the Mets in 2011?
While fans often use the bullpen as some sort of punishment chamber for dysfunctional starting pitchers, Perez is the antithesis of a reliever. Relievers have the difficult task of coming into a game at any given moment–even completely cold–and finding a rhythm. Perez has the rhythm of “Bob” from accounting who’s trying to dance to that Will Smith song at the office Christmas party. Yeah, Perez is that bad.
But as bad as Ollie was as a starter in 2010, his stint as a reliever was even worse–9.00 ERA, 2.46 WHIP, and a .346/.493/.654 line against. In fact, Perez is no longer even dominant against lefties. So if Perez is both ineffective as a starter and reliever, where does that leave him for 2011? It’s a question I’m sure Sandy Alderson wishes he knew the answer to. In an ideal world, the Mets would swap Perez for another bad contract, but unlike previous “bad contract trades,” there is arguably no contract in baseball worse than Perez’s (unless you count the $30 million the Mets will pay to Bobby Bonilla from now until 2035). Unless Perez becomes a major distraction for the team, thus warranting an immediate release, it might just be best to ride out his contract, which thankfully expires after this season.