I think it is safe to say that every Mets fan holds a special hatred for Oliver Perez on account of his recent struggles and selfishness. At the time the contract for Ollie was struck, perhaps it made lots of sense at the time, but for the sake of never-ending debating regarding the move, the fact of the matter is the Mets are stuck with an inefficient pitcher with a year plus remaining on his expensive contract.
The Mets and Manuel have tried everything to get Perez back on track, whether it be extra rest, demotions, relief work, or lately mop-up work. To no avail, Perez continues to flounder. Recent words from Mets management have stated they have no intentions of releasing Perez, which is probably due to the insane scrutiny management would receive for cutting a player making 12 million a year with more than a year left on his contract.
Well I think I might have a alternative solution that “could” (and the key word here is “could”) pay dividends for the Mets. Within the past week, the Detroit Tigers facing a similar situation to the Mets with Perez, cut Dontrelle Willis from it’s roster. Everyone is aware of the past few years and Dontrelle’s inability to perform at the MLB level, and the large contract the Tiger’s ended up signing Dontrelle too.
A post on MLB trade rumors claimed that the Mets have no interest in pursuing Dontrelle, which would make a lot of sense since Perez is currently the high-paid, poor-performing piece on the Mets roster. But what if Perez was not on the roster anymore, what if the Mets released Perez and signed Dontrelle to a minor league contract at the league minimum. With the Tigers still liable for Dontrelle’s salary, and the Mets still liable for Perez’s salary, the Mets might be able to clear up the roster spot by cutting ties with Perez while taking an inexpensive chance on Dontrelle at the league minimum.
The way I look at it, Oliver Perez will be of no use for the 2010 Mets. There might be a possibility of him returning to form for the 2011 season, but it might not be the irreparable damage he might do to the teams chemistry as there have already been reports of teammates sounding off their displeasure with his attitude. Cutting Oliver Perez and Signing Dontrelle to a minor league contract at the league minimum “with no controlling power to veto being sent to the minors” would not only free up the roster spot Perez is sitting in, but leave the Mets with basically Dontrelle collecting Perez’s is check. The only difference is that the Mets would be able to send Dontrelle down to the minors to work and maybe get something out of him for late 2010 or 2011.
The Worst Case… Dontrelle never makes it out of the minors and we spent the league minimum to get him, but at least we free up the roster spot Perez is sitting in.
The Best Case… We free up Perez’s spot on the roster to bring up bullpen help or room for a trade deadline acquisition, and Dontrelle finds his groove pitching back in the NL and we get some innings out of him.
In no way am I suggesting by merely cutting Perez and signing Dontrelle solve the Mets starting rotation holes, what I am suggesting is we cut one selfish and self-centered dead weight for an inexpensive possible diamond in the rough (loosely used).
Either way, we would finally be rid of Oliver Perez!