Perez Signs for Three

February 4, 2009

“I’m really happy to be back with the Mets,” the re-acquired left hander Oliver Perez said. “I know everyone in NY.”

During his press conference yesterday, Perez stood next to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and GM Omar Minaya with a huge grin on his face and a brand new #46 New York Mets jersey on his back. In 2007, the enigmatic southpaw made $6.5 million. This year and for the following two years, he will be making significantly more. How much more? His contract is reportedly worth $36 million for the next three seasons. Not bad for a guy who collected a bevy of no-decisions last year and finished the season with a 10-7 record. Along with his 105 base on balls and 4.22 ERA, Perez was six innings shy of 200.

“I don’t have a problem with any team,” Perez stated. “I always pitch hard.”

His ability to perform masterly in the clutch was probably the left hander’s main selling point. Against the Philadelphia Phillies last year, Perez went 1-0 and had a 0.35 ERA in four starts. Another exceptional bullet point on his resume is that he consistently dominates left handed hitters. This will be a significant advantage for the Mets who have to face a Phillies’ team that plays with a mostly left handed lineup.

One of Perez’ most memorable starts last year was on June 29th against the Yankees. Over six innings, he allowed only one run and three hits against the Bronx Bombers’ highly-potent offensive.

“We have a really good bullpen this year,” the soon-to-be 28 year old Perez made sure to note. “We are going to be a better team this year,” he added.

With Perez now slotted for the starting rotation that leaves only one spot up for grabs. If you follow the pattern of lefty-righty-lefty-righty, a lefty should follow. Either right handers, Tim Redding or Freddy Garcia, will break that formation or the Mets will go with youth and give left hander Jonathon Niese a shot at the fifth and final spot.

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