It was ten years ago when Scott Boras infamously compared his client, Oliver Perez, to Sandy Koufax. Perez has never been Koufax, obviously, but a decade later he’s still pitching and he’s about to embark on his 17th big league season.
That 17th season will be played for the Cleveland Indians, who just re-signed him for 2019 with a vesting option for 2020, so it could be 18. He’ll make $2.5 million this coming season. He’ll get $2.75 million if his option vests for 2020.
As noted, Perez’s career lacks the quality of Koufax’s career — which lasted only 12 seasons, by the way — but he hasn’t been all quantity either. Indeed, Perez was excellent for the Indians last season, posting a 1.39 ERA and 43/7 K/BB ratio across 32.1 relief innings. That was an outlier season for him — he hasn’t been that effective on a consistent basis — but he’s a lefty whose job it is to get lefties out and he does it pretty well. At least when deployed carefully, as Terry Francona did in 2018.
We all laughed at Boras back in the winter of 2008-09 for his silly Koufax comp, but I bet none of us would’ve guessed that Perez would still be chugging along like he is.