Hypothetically Speaking: Would You Trade Oliver Perez for Gary Matthews Jr.?

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 01:  Oliver Perez #46 of the New York Mets pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 1, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that the New York Mets have decided that they can't take another year of Oliver Perez and his inconsistent performance. They'd like to get out from underneath Perez's contract, even though they just signed him to an extension last season.

And maybe, just maybe, the Mets might have a taker for Perez. The Los Angeles Angels are also looking to unload an overpriced and under-performing player by the name of Gary Matthews Jr.

Matthews has failed to live up to the expectations of his $50 million contract and has struggled to gain consistent playing time with the Angels this season.

So the deal is on the table: Oliver Perez for Gary Matthews Jr. Would you do it?

Let's lay out the pros and cons for each side:

Why the Mets Would Do It

-They would get out from the under the $24 million owed to Oliver Perez.
-No more inconsistent Ollie!
-Options: If Matthews performs well, then he could be a option in the OF for the Mets.
-Defense: Even though Matthews has been poor defensively this season, maybe some consistent playing time and the motivation of a starting spot would help Matthews revert to his old gold glove self.

Why the Angels Would Do It

-No more Matthews Jr.!
-Perez has a much higher upside than Matthews Jr.
-If the Angels can figure out Perez, then they have a potentially dominant (Gulp...yes, I said it) starting pitcher.
-Perez is still young (28-years-old) and has a dynamic arm.

Why the Mets wouldn't do it

-Matthews Jr. has not been a good hitter.
-Matthews Jr. has not been a good defender.
-To sum it up, Gary Matthews Jr. has not been a good baseball player since 2006.
-Oliver Perez is a mess, but at least he still has potential to be a very, very good pitcher.

Why the Angels wouldn't do it

-Did they watch Oliver Perez pitch this season? He was terrible.
-Perez has no control and absolutely no consistency.
-Perez has missed a large chunk of the season with injuries.
-Dare I say it: Even in his declining state, Matthews Jr. is more valuable than Perez.


Keep in mind that Perez is owed $24 million over the next two years and Matthews Jr. is owed $23 million over the next two seasons. So money is basically a wash.

What this comes down to is that both guys need a change of scenery desperately and would be thrilled if this trade went down, but I have a tough time thinking that either team would be too enthusiastic about this deal.

So I'll ask again, would you make this deal? Does this make sense...?