It is the deal that keeps on taking.
Keeps on taking money from the Mets’ coffers, keeps on taking life out of a team that is fading away, keeps on taking the enthusiasm we once had for this team.
Oliver Perez will be paid $13 million this year to languish in the depths of the bullpen, to see light only on the blackest of days like yesterday. He will be paid $13 million next year to do the same.
Because Perez will not accept a minor league assignment to work out his obvious problems, he has forced the Mets to play with 24, hamstringing them as they fight to stay above .500. It is his right through collective bargaining to do so, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
It is selfishness to the highest degree.
The Mets tried to get somebody to bite at the trade deadline on Perez’s ridiculous contract – ditto that of Luis Castillo, too – but came away with no takers. Undoubtedly, he’s already cleared waivers, but don’t expect a deal of that kind in August.
It won’t happen because of Perez’s exorbitant salary, because he doesn’t throw hard anymore, because he hasn’t done a thing in two years, and because he’s not physically sound. It won’t happen because they can’t find anybody crazy enough to take on the burden the Mets so foolishly placed on themselves two years ago.
However, two years ago, there was the glimmer of potential that if his mind could mesh with his left arm that something special could be harnessed.
That hope is gone, as Perez has shed the potential label. Perez is what he is, and that’s a financial drain to the front office, and an emotional and psychological drain to the clubhouse.
His teammates are careful over the words they choose because they could someday finding themselves exercising the same collective bargaining rights. However, privately, they aren’t happy he has put himself ahead of the team, and by extension, not happy management has allowed it to happen.
There are several obstacles for being unable to trade Perez, but only one in not cutting him outright, and that is the fear of egg on their face should another organization claim and fix him.
While Perez seems unfixable, it could happen, but the Mets’ fears are irrelevant. If Perez is to get fixed elsewhere, what difference does it make if it is now or the end of next year when the team would have cut its ties? If it happens, it happens and there’s nothing the Mets can do about it.
The bottom line is Perez won this power struggle. Unless the Mets want to sue him for insubordination, which they would surely lose, what’s the point in hanging on? The longer this persists the longer the stench that is Perez and his contract mess will linger. Because he’s untradeable nobody will assume his contract and the Mets are on the hook for all of it.
It is better to write off the financial loss now and move on, start looking to a future that doesn’t include Perez. Sure, it’s a horrible taste, but eventually it will go away.
Send the message to the remaining 24 guys in the clubhouse the organization won’t be held hostage any longer.