Players grow frustrated with Perez
The message from the Mets’ clubhouse to the front office is simple: S.O.S. — Send Ollie Sailing.
“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one Mets player told the New York Post, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.
A second Mets player echoed that line of thinking.
“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of money, but for what?”
Perez, whom the Mets banished to the bullpen two weeks ago, allowed three runs over two innings on Saturday after Fernando Nieve flopped in a spot start. Perez surrendered a two-run homer to Corey Hart in the third inning and another run in the fourth.
The Mets asked Perez to accept an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo, but the pitcher refused, as he is allowed to do by his contract. He said he did not believe he would benefit from facing minor-league competition.
And Perez said Sunday he would not reconsider.
“I want to stay here,” said Perez, who is 0-3 with a 6.25 ERA.
Before the Mets’ 10-4 victory over the Brewers, manager Jerry Manuel was hard-pressed to name a scenario in which he would consider using Perez.
“That’s really a tough question,” Manuel said. “(Maybe) extra innings or something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.”
When told that Manuel’s plan is to save Perez for extra-inning games, one of the Mets players laughed.
“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?” the player said.
Management is not eager to swallow the remainder of Perez’s contract and there is always the fear of dumping him and then watching the lefty rediscover his stuff on a team that signs him for the major-league minimum.
An organizational source said the idea of dumping Perez could be broached, but there was no internal dialogue as of yet.