Chris Perez has seen his fair share of controversy this year. He’s challenged the fan base. He has gesticulated and emoted in ways that have really pissed off the opposition. He got all Internet Tough Guy and tweeted about how he’s gonna plunk Royals hitters. He, inexplicably, went to war with the beloved Kenny Lofton.
But — and I am only linking, not describing, because it’s a bit NSFW for us — Deadspin explains that he’s now getting into the kind of thing that could lead to a suspension. Just ask Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. And yes the fan was being a jerk too, but the player has to not take that kind of bait and certainly not get into profane exchanges with fans. Bad, bad form in my view.
But even if Perez doesn’t get in trouble over this, it’s bad news for him. Because it’s not like we haven’t seen this story a million times. A high-energy, colorful in-your-face relief pitcher wears on people’s nerves, though generally gets ignored and gets eye-rolls when he’s saving all of the games. The second that fastball goes away, however, he becomes just another bullpen arm. That attitude wears thin, and his life expectancy in the game is way shorter than your average, workaday reliever.
But hey, if Perez wants the Kenny Powers career path, that’s his prerogative.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.