3) Worst Mets Contracts – Oliver Perez (2009, three years, $36 million)
Mets fans despise Oliver Perez, for good reason. Even now there is the 1% who will still say the contract wasn’t bad because we got him for a good deal compared to overpaying for Derek Lowe like the Atlanta Braves ended up doing. I will admit, at the time, the deal made sense and wasn’t the worst on the table considering how much other starting pitchers were asking for.
Sadly, yet again, the Wilpons were plagued by their frugality. While he was great against the lefty batters, he was terrible against pretty much everyone else considering that he finished his time with the Mets with a 4.72 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and a 29-29 record.
The Mets were so desperate to get rid of Perez that they dissolved the rest of the contract in 2011 eating the last $12 million they owed him.
Perez was especially tough to watch in 2009 and 2010. During this post-collapsing era of Mets baseball, Perez was one of those frustrating players up there with Luis Castillo breaking our hearts. He made 14 starts in 2009 and gave the club a 3-4 record with a 6.82 ERA. The following year, in 7 starts and another 10 relief appearances, Ollie was 0-5 with a 6.80 ERA.
A loss of control is what really did Perez in. He walked 7.9 batters per nine in 2009 and 8.2 per nine in 2010. The free passes added up and eventually, the Mets couldn’t take it anymore.
Surprisingly, Perez has reinvented himself as a relief pitcher since his days with the Mets. He enjoyed success with several ball clubs from 2012-2019 working mostly as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. With the three-batter minimum now in place though, his ability to retire lefties isn’t nearly as valuable moving forward.