After a year of rest, Oliver Perez is finally ready to pitch

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Craig has his Jeff Francoeur obsession, so I’m free to blog about Oliver Perez at will. Especially on this rather slow Labor Day, news-wise.

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Oliver Perez said earlier today that he is considering pitching for his hometown of Culiacan, Mexico, this winter in the Mexican League.

Perez allowed one run on two hits over two innings against the Nationals earlier this afternoon, striking out three and walking none. It was his second appearance in the past week, but that’s usually a bad sign for the Mets pitching staff.

The erratic southpaw has pitched just 46 innings with the Mets this season, posting a 6.65 ERA and 36/39 K/BB ratio. The bad news? He’s having so much fun being worthless that he has every intention of returning to the Mets for the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract next season.

“I have one more year,” Perez said. “If I’m here, I’m going to do all the best for my team.”

If Perez really intended to “do all the best” for his team, he would have accepted a minor league assignment months ago.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.