Mets’ Oliver Perez Should Refuse Minors

New York Mets starting pitcher Oliver Perez reacts after being pulled from the game at Citi Field in New York

It’s probably safe to say at this point that we’re all tired of Oliver Perez and his lack of focus, free-wheeling side-arming, and general lack of any semblance of pitching ability. Now, we’re hearing from the NY Post that some anonymous Mets players want him off the roster. I’m not so sure I believe that story from the Post. But it’s coming to a point soon when the Mets will have to do something about Perez.

John Fitzgerald of Mets Today wrote a good post today summarizing the different storylines surrounding Perez and the Mets attempts to get him to agree to go to the minors. The organization is continuing to try to convince him and his agent, Scott Boras, that it’s in his best interest to work out his problems in Port St. Nowhere or Buffalo.

I’m going to reiterate what I wrote two weeks ago. If you look at the situation from Perez’ perspective, he should refuse an assignment to the minors. Page 63 of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2007-2011 is very specific about assignment of contracts. Perez falls in the category of a player that has the right to approve assignment to a minor league team.

There is no motivating factor for him to go to the minors. The Mets best coaches are in majors that can help him recover. There’s no way he wants to go live in a hotel in the middle of Nothing, Florida or Buffalo and travel with those teams, staying in second rate hotels. This is a guy that makes $12 million year. He gets a $1 million paycheck every two weeks during the season. He stays in the nicest hotels in the country for road games and gets there on chartered flights.

The contract that he and the Mets agreed to before the 2009 season allowed him to refuse a trip to the minors. Everybody knew that when they signed the contract and agreed to it. Just put yourself in his shoes for a minute. I’m sure he wants to pitch better and believes that the best coaches in the organization are with the big league team. I just can’t figure out what the motivating factor is for him to go the minors. Don’t forget that he’ll have no control over when, or if, the Mets bring him back.

It doesn’t make sense from Perez’ point of view to accept a trip to the minors. Everyone brings up the Steve Trachsel and Bobby Jones comparison but those aren’t equal. If those players didn’t accept a trip to the minors they would’ve been released and their careers could have been over. That’s not the case with Perez. If the Mets release him someone else will sign him the day he clears waivers. His career isn’t over.

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