Although many people thought that Oliver Perez’s time in baseball was over after the New York Mets cut him the other day, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has reported that the Washington Nationals signed Oliver Perez to a minor league contract today.
Oliver Perez is brutal and the fact that anyone gave him a shot is a huge surprise. Just how bad do you have to be to not qualify for another chance in baseball nowadays? It seems like you have all of these bums getting cut and given another chance by a different team – this is certainly the case with Perez.
Oliver Perez went 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA since signing his 3 year, $36 million contract prior to the 2009 season. Now, entering 2011, Perez has been given another chance by the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals’ pitching coordinator is Spin Williams, who was the pitching coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates when Oliver Perez struck out a career-high 239 batters in 2004. The Nationals hope that he can work with him again and help him regain his old form.
Perez will report to AAA Syracuse and perhaps this change of scenery will help him. While he will technically still be in the state of New York if he is up in Syracuse, Perez will be far detached from the New York media that has been burying him since he signed that huge contract with the Mets.
A left handed pitcher is always a hot commodity in baseball, but Perez really does seem to be a lost cause. Even if you take his mid-80’s fastball and horrible command out of the picture, he is still a head case.
I guess the bottom line is that the Nationals are taking a flyer on Perez. It did not take him long to find another job and more work, so we will see how he fares. I do not expect him to reach the major leagues again this season, and odds are that he performs poorly in the minor leagues and gets cut again.
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