Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Mets Made This Bed

In a Sunday article in a major New York newspaper, it was reported that Oliver Perez refuses to go to the minor leagues and has that right to do so because that's the way his contract is written. His own teammates (not named of course) are demanding that the team jettison the wayward lefty despite his contract. When you have players who don't want another player on their team anymore, there is a big, big problem. But the Mets deserve this mess because they created it in the first place.

On February 2, 2009, the Mets signed Oliver Perez as a free agent for roughly $12 million a year. This was after a season where he finished with a league average 100 ERA+ ONLY because he pitched in the National League and only because he mixed in a few brilliant games in between a bunch of rotten ones. Not only did a lowly blogger like this one insist at the time that the signing was unbelievably stupid but a whole bunch of noted and big time writers like Mr. Neyer and many others said the same thing.

Perez had just completed two season where he made just about all of his starts, had a very good K/9 performance and won 25 out of 42 decisions. But despite the fact that he posted a 121 and 100 ERA+ in those two seasons, there were danger signs written everywhere you looked. He averaged a meager 5.88 innings per outing over those two years because of the many times he had to come out early due to pitch counts or poor performances. He led the league in walks in 2008. He had stretches were he was just abysmal only to save his job by pitching the occasional gem. Plus, many accounts hinted that he was not one to be coached.

But the Mets were desperate for pitching and they knew the guy so they signed him. And man has it ever blown up in their faces. He's averaged eight walks per nine innings since the contract. He's averaged a 1.95 WHIP after the contract. He averaged 4.7 innings per start in his 14 starts last season. He had some early stinkers in the rotation this year, so they pulled him and put him the bullpen where he has been just as bad. The above linked article quotes his manager as stating that he doesn't know of a situation in a game where he would be willing to use Perez and then added maybe an extra inning game. A player (again not named) when told of his manager's comments laughed and said something to the effect of, "yeah when it's a 20 inning game and we have nobody else." That's bad.

So what should the Mets do? They guy is only 29 years old so he may still have a future, but it's clear that it shouldn't be with the Mets. The Cubs hit the jackpot with Carlos Silva who had a similar situation in Seattle. Maybe they could turn him around too. Who knows. But it is crystal clear that he needs to be cut from the roster. If his own teammates are turning on him, then he becomes not only a liability in the game when he plays but in the clubhouse. The Mets have to either trade him right now or cut him loose. There isn't a question about the money. They are going to eat that either way it goes. That horse is out of the barn (Egads! a cliche!)

The above linked article basically states that Perez has the Mets by the...umm...male reproductive system because he won't go to the minors. He is painted as a bad guy because of that. He may be a bad guy, but this blogger just doesn't know. But Perez has this leverage because the Mets GAVE it to him. The Fan once had a boss who put a letter of resignation in front of the Fan and told the Fan to sign it. The Fan refused. If the guy wanted the Fan gone, the Fan wasn't going to make it easy for him. Why should Perez? Apparently he likes it in the big leagues despite not competing there very well. So sue him.

The Mets have to make a move. It's going to be painful. But that's life.

No comments: