Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Oliver Perez “will begin pitching in the Mexican Pacific League next month” and adds that “if he does not improve and the new general manager cannot deal him” the team is prepared to simply eat the remaining $12 million on his contract.
McCullough’s comments stem from a radio interview yesterday in which Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said the following about Perez (and former general manager Omar Minaya):
Anybody who thinks I’m the general manager, do you think I really would go out and sign Oliver Perez? Or did I go along with what my GM suggested? We tried to get the best contract we could with him. It obviously hasn’t worked so far. So the new GM coming in hopefully won’t have the baggage of Oliver Perez being under his watch.
Wilpon also revealed that agent Scott Boras encouraged Perez to accept a minor-league assignment when the Mets tried to demote him in the middle of the season, but the left-hander ultimately would not agree. Instead he took up a roster spot while pitching in just three of the Mets’ final 57 games and fittingly ended his season by walking in a run with the bases loaded.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.