Oliver Perez (yes, that Oliver Perez) pitching well for Seattle

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Mets fans aren’t going to like this very much, but after years of being a horrible pitcher and one season of not even playing in the majors Oliver Perez is thriving as reliever for the Mariners.

Perez, who despite seemingly being around forever is still just 30 years old, tossed two scoreless innings last night against the Orioles to give him a 2.08 ERA and 18/5 K/BB ratio in 17 innings for the Mariners.

Perez had a 6.81 ERA and more walks (100) than strikeouts (99) in 112 innings during his final two seasons with the Mets and what makes his success with the Mariners even more remarkable is that he didn’t even pitch particularly well at Triple-A before being called up.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”