Oliver Perez's Activation Sends Very Bad Message About the Mets

Perez will serve as a second lefty specialist in the bullpen

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    With five losses in their last six games, Mets fans have plenty of reasons to be upset about their team right now but the return of Oliver Perez should be at the top of the list.

    Perez was activated from the disabled list after Tuesday night's game and will be in the bullpen Wednesday, presumably to serve drinks, tell jokes and pitch only if the game reaches the 14th inning. No one with the Mets is even pretending that they've seen something from Perez to indicate that he's a different pitcher than the one who was so awful during the last two months of the season and that pitcher wasn't trusted to pitch in any meaningful situations. Why should anything be different now? 

    He's back with the big league club simply because he's got a big salary and the front office isn't willing to admit they've made a mistake, eat the money and fill the roster spot with someone who can actually help the team win a few games. That should come as a pretty chilling rebuke to Mets fans who have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about trades that might help the team stay in playoff contention for the rest of the season.

    It's time to put those dreams away. What's the point of dealing away potential contributors of the future to help a team that's willingly playing with a 24-man roster in the present? Hell, given the presence of three catchers on the roster, the Mets have actually been going with 24 men for quite a while now. They could drop Rod Barajas and lose absolutely nothing but, this is just a guess, that might reflect badly on Omar Minaya for signing him in the first place.

    The Perez move colors everything else the Mets are doing right now. They signed former Nationals closer Chad Cordero to a minor league deal on Tuesday, a "hope we catch some lightning in a bottle" low risk move that happens all the time around baseball. In light of the Perez activation, though, it looks like the Mets were unwilling to pony up any actual money for a reliever who has performed well in the big leagues in the last three years.

    No one thought the Mets would be worth all that much this season. They defied those projections through the first half but now, at a crucial point in the season, it doesn't seem like the organization is particulary interested in stopping them from coming true.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.