Mets In Driver's Seat With Oliver Perez

They say if you love something, you should let it go, and if it comes back you know it's there to stay. And with only a few weeks left until pitchers and catchers report, the mild drama over whether lefty Oliver Perez will be returning to the Mets should be over soon. With the likely result of Ollie being in New York for the foreseeable future.

There have been times where it seemed the two might go their separate ways, most notably when the Mets were in hot pursuit of Derek Lowe. But it looked as though Minaya never got too serious with his advances on Lowe. Perhaps it was fond memories of summer days in the park with Perez keeping him from cutting the cord completely. 

More likely, however, this is a relationship reignited by pragmatic economical interests on both sides. Much like with free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets knew they were one of the few large market teams in play for the second tier of free agent starters (basically everyone besides CC Sabathia), and so they could wait and see which guy would fall to them at the price they set. In this case about three years and $30 million. As a Type A free agent, the Mets could also feel comfortable knowing that any team that wanted to match their offer would pay extra by losing a draft pick, making competition in the recessed economic climate less likely. 

On the player side, Boras has been trying his best to sell the Book of Ollie, but even he can't outwit a game with no players in it. Milwaukee Brewers GM recently was adamant about not bidding on Perez, which may be the final fig leaf Boras had to shroud negotiations in mystery and play Minaya and the Mets off other anonymous interested teams. Indeed, Boras might be wise to get his clients signed quickly before the buzz and interest in a likely cheaper Ben Sheets continues to swell.  

It seems this was always an inevitable reconciliation. Despite his inconsistencies, Ollie has been a durable workhorse, and one who has proven he can handle the intense NYC media hotbox. A jump to the AL, or to a small market team would carry significant risk of derailing his career. On the Mets' side, there wasn't anyone significantly better available, so you might as well stick with what you know. 

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us