After a car accident in August of 2006 left the Mets main setup man, Duaner Sanchez, out for the season, New York desperately needed a shut down reliever.
The Mets dealt Xavier Nady to the Pirates in exchange for workhorse righty Roberto Hernandez. As a throw-in, the Pirates included promising young lefty Oliver Perez.
Perez struggled big time in seven starts for the Mets, but wound up on the postseason roster.
In Game 7 of the NLCS, Perez gave Mets fans a glimpse of the pitcher he could be. He pitched six innings of one-run ball—though he benefited from Endy Chavez’s miracle catch.
He had a tremendous year in 2007, going 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA. He became a free agent after the 2008 season that saw him go 10-7 but lead the N.L with 105 walks.
In typical Omar Minaya fashion, he outbid himself for Perez’s services. He gave a pitcher that had only won 55 career games a three-year, $36 million deal.
Perez only won three games after signing that deal. What’s worse is that he refused to accept a minor league assignment last season to work on his control. His release this spring was inevitable.
The Mets could have used that same amount of money—and maybe even less—to sign Derek Lowe, who has won 33 games for the Atlanta Braves in the same amount of time.