Mets players want Oliver Perez gone

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Oliver Perez mopes.jpgNews flash: Oliver Perez is having a pretty terrible year. He has walked 32 dudes in 26 innings against only 29 strikeouts and has an ERA of 6.25. His demotion to the bullpen hasn’t helped anyone either, with his latest performance coming Saturday against the Brewers when he gave up three runs just as the Mets started to rally themselves.

Now two anonymous Mets players are telling the New York Post’s Mike Puma that they want Ollie gone:

“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one
Mets player said, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million
on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.

A
second Mets player echoed that line of thinking.

“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of
money, but for what?”

The need for the ultimatum, of course, is that as a veteran in the middle of a big multi-year contract, Ollie must give his permission before accepting a minor league assignment, and Scott Boras clients just don’t do that. What they do do, however, is leave the team once they’re designated for assignment, because they have no choice.  Likewise it seems like the Mets have little choice but to do the designating.

Perez is terrible, there’s nowhere to hide him and he has lost the confidence of his teammates and his manager. Indeed, Puma asked Jerry Manuel when, exactly, he’d consider using Ollie. Manuel’s answer: “That’s really a tough question. [Maybe] extra innings or
something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.” The response to that by one of the anonymous players:

“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used
all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?”

Wow. It’s one thing to have a useless player on the team. It’s another thing to have a useless player who is being openly mocked by his teammates. $20 million is a lot of money to flush down the toilet, but it’s time for the Mets to do it.

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.

The Blue Jays and Bautista have reached a one year deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on during batting practice prior to game five of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.

The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.