According to Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees have some interest in the Mets latest cast-off, Oliver Perez. The Mets finally cut their losses yesterday with the left-handed pitcher, who has struggled mightily since signing a lucrative three-year, $36 million contract with them in 2009. You would be hard pressed to find any New York Mets fan to ever use “talented” and “Oliver Perez” in the same sentence, but for outsiders looking in, giving Perez a chance on league minimum could make some sense.
Aside from his early flashes of brilliance with the Pirates, Perez was an important piece in the Mets rotation from 2007 to 2008. The formerly dominant southpaw posted a combined 3.91 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 25 Wins, and a 1.97 K/BB ratio between the two seasons, and even pitched well against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 NLCS. However, Perez always had control issues, and his league-leading 105 walks in 2008 should have been the writing on the wall for near-future failures.
Like clockwork, after signing his mammoth contract with the Mets in the 2009 off-season, Perez looked more like a disgruntled little league pitcher than a big-game hurler. The starter only appeared in 14 games for the Mets in 2009, posting a dismal 6.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 3 Wins, and a 1.07 K/BB ratio. His 2010 season was even worse–sporting a 6.80 ERA, 2.07 WHIP, 0 Wins, and an unthinkable 0.88 K/BB ratio (more BB’s than K’s). In addition, Perez even initially refused a minor league assignment to work on his mechanics, which caused a major clubhouse distraction.
No one can deny the talent Oliver Perez once displayed, but even at age 29, Perez doesn’t appear to offer a smattering of value to any major league franchise. While the Yankees have a variety of unexciting rotation options like Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Ivan Nova, at this point, they’re all heads and shoulders above the lost lefty.