Here’s how the Mets should play Perez.

PEREZ: Time to give ultimatum.

PEREZ: Time to give ultimatum.

GM Omar Minaya puts the odds at 50/50 of the Mets re-signing Oliver Perez, this despite no other team linked to the erratic left-hander.

What we can expect from the Scott Boras client is to drag out the negotiations in the hope of driving up the price. Long and painful, just the way it is when the tge  The Mets displayed patience last year and Johan Santana came back to them. And, because the Mets controlled the closer market, they were able to get Francisco Rodriguez on their terms.

It won’t be that easy with Perez. If Minaya’s odds are accurate, the Mets need to go in another direction, and right now, needing a left-hander, that means Randy Wolf.

Wolf, the former Phillie, has nibbles from Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco. At $3.7 million last year with a 12-12 record, somebody will snap him up.

If you’re think 12-12 is no great shakes, remember Perez, for all his stuff, is 55-60 lifetime.

The Mets should pursue Wolf hard and make sure Perez understands that situation. I’d give Perez my best offer now and tell him the clock is ticking with a deadline. After the deadline, the offer is off the table and could go down.

Should the Mets sign both? Why not? They have two spots to fill and Jon Niese is no guarantee.

52 thoughts on “Here’s how the Mets should play Perez.

  1. Wolf actually did a yeoman’s job with Houston. He was 6 and 10 with San Diego when he got traded to Houston he was 6 – 2. With the Mets offense there’s no reason not to believe he can put up 15 wins like OP did in ’07.

  2. Hell, I’d make an all-out push to sign them both. But like you said JD and agreed with me a few topics past, the Mets need to force the issue on this and now.

    They need at least one more guy in that rotation, preferably two, so the sooner the better.

  3. Of course.

    This is not a market for Boras to do what he likes.

    Offer OP something fair. Tell him that you like him and want him back, but that if he feels there are better situations for him that we have options.

    I would not wait on him. A bird in the hand and all that.

    And yes, Niese could use more seasoning.

  4. Lowe would be my top choice. wouldn’t give ollie a huge contract and if signing Wolf means they can use money for a lefty reliever and a left fielder then I go with wolf

    Wolf went 12-12 in 33 starts ( 190 innings) with a 4.30 ERA, BB-77/SO-162. Sept. going 4-1 ( 5 starts) with an ERA of 2.23.

    Ollie went 10-7 in 34 starts ( 194 innings) with a 4.22 ERA, BB-105-BB/SO-180. Sept. Ollie went 1-0 in six starts with a 5.79 ERA.

  5. And those 105 walks were the most in the league. Is it any wonder nobody is banging the door down for Ollies services? How much is a fair Offer? 12 mil? I dont think so.
    I would offer Wolf 21M for 3 years. Sign some retreads to fight it out with the kids for the 5th spot. There will be salary dumps a plenty this summer. Dbacks having money problems and Brandon Webb a FA next year. It would be wise to keep a spot open.

  6. Aww.

    Give Ollie a break. He is a great pitcher. His agent says so!

    He deserves 17 million a year for 6 years.

    Its a bargain!

  7. Earlier in the off-season I was enamored of Ollie’s youth and potential. Absence has not made my heart grow fonder.

    All of the lefthanded starters available via free agency have warts.

    Although Randy Wolf is a yo-yo like Ollie, at least he’s on a shorter string.

    Wolf seems least likely of all the available options to singlehandedly destroy the Mets’ season.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement I know.

  8. The two to go for are Lowe and Wolf … more reliable then Perez & Wolfe … plus, with both Lowe and Wolfe probably seeing their options diminishing, may be affordable.

    Lowe & Perez will be more costly and less likely …. Niese needs to start in AAA …. to count on him to start the year in the rotation will set us all up for failure …. and, at that point, the Mets will be stuck with the Lima-types to fill the void ….

    Also, once agan, the phone appears to have gone cold on Pedro as a 5th starter option …

    I just wish this would end but the closer scenarion has convinced me to be patient.

  9. (9) Lowe/Wolf would be fine with me too, but the problem is Lowe may still get a four-year offer from someone out there, and even if he doesn’t, still may get something like 3/45 which I don’t see NY doing.

    As for Pedro, he himself said he did not want to hear anything regarding his 2009 future until after the New Year.

  10. Why rush any of this? It seems to me that the unfolding scenarios with Texieria and Manny will likely dictate which teams will be interested in Lowe, who, in turn, will likely set the market for Perez and Wolf.

    From what I’ve read, Lowe was originally looking for five years and will likely have to settle for three with an option for a fourth; if accurate, that would likely move Ollie down to three years, which would be much more palatable to the Mets.

    Also, enough about this crazy fixation on W-L records. Perez has been more dominant than Wolf, particularly since the latter had major arm surgery a few years back. Perez has his faults, but he’s 26 and absolutely dominates the lefty-laden Phils.

    I wouldn’t go five years and $75 million for Ollie, but I’d be interested for, say, three years and $40 million.

  11. (11) I agree Tiffany about your Perez opinion. I mean, I’m not a huge, huge fan of his, but I really do think the price is going to come down on him to the point where it’s probably an overall better deal to keep him than sign Wolf, who though cheaper, has had TJ surgery, doesn’t have the stuff Perez has and is also 4-5 years older.

    The only thing I worry about if they re-sign Perez or sign Lowe is the money left over. They need another LH in that bullpen and not some retread that is plucked off the scrap heap.

  12. I would like to see the Lowe and Wolf combo. With Lowe it will take some of the pressure off of Pelfrey and Maine and Wolf will give a chance for Neise and Parnell some time to improve at AAA.

  13. No matter how much the Mets talk Jon Niese up, he’s going to have to have a pretty darn good spring to start the year with NY, IMO.

    They’re going to bring someone else in for the back-end. A Freddy Garcia or Eric Milton-type…at least those are the names I’ve read.

    Niese starting in AAA would not be the worst thing for both the Mets and himself.

  14. The best Ollie deal would be a contract similar to C.C. with an opt out after 2 or 3 years. This would let Ollie come back and Boras save face if the money is not as big.

    As good a season as Wolf had, if the Mets do sign him 2 years with option for a third year should be the max.

    Ollie or Wolf will in the end give you about the same record. The key is who will be the other guy Omar brings in.

    Will it be Lowe, Garcia, Marquis or someone else. It needs to be a pitcher who can give the Mets 30 starts next year.

    Counting on Parnell or Niese would be the downfall of the 2009 season.

  15. There is really no disputing that Ollie dominated the Phillies in 2008, and that made his overall career numbers against them at least decent (12 GS, 2 W, 3 L, 68 2/3 IP, 3.15 ERA, but a concerning 99 H & BB combined in those innings).

    Unfortunately the Mets do not play 162 games against the Phillies.

    His overall walk totals from season to season are bad and have yet to improve with age/experience.

    Unless he harnesses his control, he will continue to walk the tightrope of allowing too many baserunners to ultimately be succesful.

    I wish he had accepted arbitration because I would like to give him one more season to show he can gain some control.

    I’m not prepared to give him a boatload of cash over 3-4 years to take that chance.

  16. GravediggerHebner is right. Ollie is about a 500 pitcher who is extraordinarily wild.

    He can be a big game pitcher and may be most useful in the postseason if we get there.

    The problem is he has way too many 4 inning games. A 4 inning pitcher is not a starter in my book.

    At $13 a year as Tiffany suggests above is too rich in this market. It seems the numbers are really $10 million for an avg pitcher in this market. He does not deserve a 30% premium.

  17. Didn’t Kyle Lohse just sign a four-year deal for more than $40 million? You think he’s better than Ollie?

    AJ Burnett is better than Ollie…but I’m not sure that he’s $8 million per year better.

    If Lohse is at $10.5 million and Burnett at $18.4 million, I have to think Ollie slots in somewhere in between.

  18. Lohse signed before the economic downturn and Burnett was signed (moronically) by the Yankees.

    And there was a far greater demand for Burnett, including a “bidding war” between the Yanks and Braves.

    There doesn’t seem to be that type of market for Perez.

    He’ll be lucky to make $13mm.

  19. My point about the contract is who besides the Yanks want to give AJ $18 a year?

    In this climate the Yanks are bidding against themselves just as we did last year for the services of our starting 2B.

    I think a more reasonable rate is 10-12 – our closer only got 12 and he was the best in baseball last year – with Ollie as an avg player 4.5 era and more than a few 4 inning games not deserving to be considered a star pitcher.

  20. Also, JD is right, Wolf has multiple suitors. We cant just sit and wait for somebody to pay Lowe his ransom. Gotta have lefties against the Phils. Once Wolf is gone, Only Ollie is there as a lefty starter. Boras will take full advantage.

  21. Lohse just had a career year. He’s not a bad guy to plug into the back-end of your rotation, in my opinion, Perez is quite a bit better than him, at least for what Lohse will now be making.

    And speaking to Lowe, I don’t think the Mets will wait for him. If they start getting into more serious discussions and he continues to talk about $16-$17mm, they’ll just pass and move on.

    If he could be had for a 3-year deal, he’s the guy I’d take. If not, Perez and then Wolf.

    We all know about OP’s ability to drive us berserk, but I can’t get over the fact that Wolf doesn’t have the stuff Perez does, he’s 4-5 years older and he’s had injury problems.

    If NY chose Wolf, I wouldn’t be disappointed, but I think for a few mil more, the upside with Perez is just so much greater.

  22. Surely OP has good stuff, the problem is he likes to play with his delivery which gets him in trouble. How many times have we heard a coach describe in a post game how he was feeling good and decided to change things just because?

    This of course leads him to get smacked around. I don’t care if he has better stuff or that he is younger or whatever.

    He is what he is. We have seen his act for 3 years. This is who he is. To think/hope that he will get it and become the pitcher he should be I feel is a fool’s dream.

    Maybe he will get it and be the pitcher he should be. I think not.

    He is what he is. Don’t make him something he is not.

    As Bill Parcell’s says ‘you are your record’.

  23. I’m not making him out to be anything. Everyone here knows what Perez is all about.

    But if he can be had for $11-$12mm/year and Wolf, for arguments sake, is asking for close to $10mm/year, wouldn’t you just rather bite the bullet and pay a few extra mil for youth and upside?

    Personally, I would, simply because Wolf is nothing great either.

  24. “Didn’t Kyle Lohse just sign a four-year deal for more than $40 million? You think he’s better than Ollie?”

    Well Carlos Silva signed for 4/$48 so I guess every starting pitcher in baseball should get more than that because every starting pitcher in baseball is better than Carlos Silva.

    “But if he can be had for $11-$12mm/year and Wolf, for arguments sake, is asking for close to $10mm/year, wouldn’t you just rather bite the bullet and pay a few extra mil for youth and upside?”

    If those are the parameters, maybe, maybe not. The fact that I have to think so long and hard about it and still not feel confident in Ollie makes me prefer to sign the cheaper alternative. Also, I’m hoping Wolf will come significantly cheaper than $10/year considering he made $4.75 in ’08.

  25. Wolfs 90-78 4.26. OP is 55-60 4.39. Wolf is slightly better. If its a matter of 1 or 2 mil. for the same years, I would go with the younger player. I see wolf signing for 3 yrs 21mil. Boras is looking for a lot more than that. Also, its not always about better stuff. Glavine and Maddux are going to the hall with less stuff than Ollie has.

  26. (28) Ray- Excellent point on the stuff aspect. I wasn’t neglecting that at all.

    I guess my stance is largely because of a few things:

    1) Perez is younger
    2) no injury history
    3) rather keep the guy we know than obtain the one we don’t

    Now, if Boras wants to play his usual game, which I’m not sure he can actually afford to do this offseason with “second-tier” players, and Wolf is reasonable, which he probably would be…then I’m fine with it.

  27. mrmet0805

    If the scenario is the one you provide in post #26 I take Ollie warts and all, but we know who his agent is and that ain’t happenin’.

  28. (31) Dave- Normally I would completely agree with you, and while I still tend to lean towards your line of thinking…I’m not so sure in this market.

    For one, the economy and two, I have heard nothing of other teams being interested in Perez, and for good reason from an outsider’s perspective.

    The Mets just cannot get caught with their pants down and either get left with nothing or bidding against themselves.

    Just a gut feeling, but I really don’t think Perez is going to get all that much, considering.

  29. And another thing re: Perez/Boras.

    I think the lack of big-market teams interested in OP hurt, as well as the fact that teams who might come out of nowhere in the past to just blow away even a “second-tier” guy like Perez are not doing that anymmore.

    Look what happened with K-Rod. The Mets were the only big market team to have serious interest…and they got a guy who just set a record for saves and is 27 at a year and $7mm cheaper than Wagner got after ’05…when he was 36.

  30. Agreed.

    But his agent is who he is and will work his plan that is his trademark.

    He will try and create a market for his players.

    We need to call his bluff. Say we are interested, give a fair offer and move on.

  31. (34) Dave, I agree 100%

    Can’t let this drag on. Now, that doesn’t mean it needs to be done by this weekend. We all know things tend to slow down around Xmas, but hopefully something does happen sooner rather than later.

  32. The Braves reported offered five years and $80 million for Burnett.

    Speculation says Lowe will want $16-17 million per year.

    And, yeah, if Carlos Silva signs a $48-million contract, that raises the bar for all pitchers. That’s called a market.

  33. “And, yeah, if Carlos Silva signs a $48-million contract, that raises the bar for all pitchers. That’s called a market.”

    Fair enough. And if the consumer doesn’t feel that the product is worth it’s (perceived) market value, the consumer is free to shop for another product.

    I don’t feel wild Ollie and his alleged potential is worth 3/$40 or more. If some other club wants to pay that more power to them.

  34. By the way, my math was wrong on Burnett. He got $82 million over five years, which comes out to $16.4 per year. The Braves reportedly offered $80 million over five years, or $16 per year.

    If Burnett is worth $16.4 and Lohse $10.25, then Ollie has to be somewhere in between.

  35. That’s not correct at all.

    The Yankees wildly overpaid for Burnett and the Braves were going to as well. The Yankees are going to regret that contract. The upside is great, but not $82.5mm worth.

    As for Silva, different time. This isn’t a year ago or even 6 months ago.

    Teams are not going to spend that kind of money unless it’s on a big-time player or just because of plain stupidity, which the Yankees are showing once again.

  36. Tiffany,

    I looked it up and stand corrected. It seems the Braves are as insane as the Yanks.

    If OP gets 4 or 5 years for 14 mil, good luck to him. He is not worth it. I would be happy with Wolf or other similar pitchers for less.

  37. “Worth” is such a relative concept. I mean, is Brian Schneider “worth” $4.9 million? I don’t think so, but that’s pretty much what the going rate is for an established, league-average catcher. Do I think Ollie is “worth” $13 million? Not really, but, if Kyle Lohse makes $10.25 and Carlos Silva makes $12, then it is what it is.

  38. (41) Tiffany- I understand where you’re coming from, but what is missing from your argument is today’s economy.

    Do you really think that if this was say, 3 offseasons ago or even two, that K-Rod would have gotten a 3/37 deal not only coming off the year he had but his first taste of free agency?

    As of today, what do you think OP will get, contract-wise? My personal opinion is 3/36 with a *big* maybe on a 4th year option.

  39. Today’s economy doesn’t seem to be bothering Sabathia, Teixiera and Burnett.

    But it’s not just the economy that was influencing K-Rod’s contract: It was Fuentes, Wood and Hoffman on the free-agent market, as well as guys like Putz and Valverde available via trade. Throw in the idea that just about every big-market team already had a closer, and it was just the wrong time for K-Rod to get the big paycheck. I mean, the Mets literally had six choices and virtually no big-market team to compete with.

    As for Ollie, I see him getting three years and between $36-40 million from a team like the Mets. The fly in the ointment would be some bottom-feeder like the Nationals trying to blow him out of the water with a larger bid.

  40. (43) Tiffany- Good point about the closer’s market, but I disagree re: Tex, CC, etc. Those guys are the cream of the crop and they’ll get what’s coming to them.

    It is the second-tier guys who won’t, at least I don’t think so. As for Burnett, that is probably one of the stupidest contracts, all things considered, handed out in the last 10 years.

    The Yankees are fools for paying that much to him and not only that, they bid about $40mm more than they needed to in regards to Sabathia.

  41. If it were only the Yanks, I’d agree with you…but how do you explain the Braves, who also offered Burnett a five-year deal in the $16-million range?

    $82 million for AJ Burnett should tell you what the current market rate is for starting pitchers.

  42. Ignoring the fact that they are all overpaid:

    CC-got what most expected

    Burnett-the most irresponsible contract in quite some time

    Lowe-will probably get close to what he wants

    Perez-will get nowhere NEAR what he wants

  43. Pressed ‘enter’ too soon, my bad!

    We’ll just have to see. It will be interesting to hear what some of the final nos. on Lowe/Perez will be.

  44. Dont belive everything you read in the newspaper. I dont belive the braves offered that much. there is so much misinformation put out there by agents and anonymous leakers. Just look at how many times Furcal has been rumored to be going somewhere this winter. I dont see Burnett going to the bankees if the money was that close.

  45. Sho nuff’ Heyman on todays report says the braves offer for Burnett was 4 yrs for 60mil with an option for a fifth year. Hey Tiffany, nevermind Chipper, what are they going to do about Glavine, Smoltz?

  46. (50) If you don’t mind me tossing my opinion in Ray, I thought it was absolutely laughable last year how so many “experts” and legit baseball people picked the Braves to not only advance to the postseason, but far and in some cases, win it all.

    Did they really think that that old and broken-down rotation was going to hold up? It’s like people, knowledgeable and professional baseball people, mind you, saw Glavine and Smoltz together and thought it was 1995 all over again.

  47. I dont mind you Chiming in Mr. Met. Im always happy to see one of my posts get answered.