I don’t have the audio link — I’m just passing along what Matt Cerrone heard on SNY — but apparently Oliver Perez feels like he’s being treated “unfairly” by the Mets.
That’s one way to put it.
Another way to put it would be for Perez to say that he’s been allowed to stay on the team, collecting service time and getting all the perks available to a major league ballplayer despite not being able to pitch at all anymore and despite refusing attempts to send him on minor league assignments all year despite the fact that that is probably what’s best for him at this point. If anyone in Queens had an inkling of what a sunk cost was (they don’t), Perez would be sitting at home watching Mets games on TV instead of from the dugout.
But then again, maybe this is just some sort of communication issue. Maybe when Perez says “unfairly” he really means “with more deference and latitude than any person in his situation has any right to be treated.” I shouldn’t just assume, right?
Whatever the case, Perez’s pride or stubbornness has combined with the Mets’ ineptitude in providing Jerry Manuel with, basically, only 24 players a night with which to contest baseball games instead of the usual 25. I suppose that’s unfair to someone, but it sure as hell ain’t Oliver Perez.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.