Here are the facts: the Mets owe Oliver Perez roughly $20 million dollars through the 2011 season. Oliver Perez's ERA over the past two seasons is 6.62. If the Mets did not owe Oliver Perez so much money, than Oliver Perez would be in the minors right now.
But thanks to the egregious contract that the Mets gave Perez, Jolly Ollie can refuse to go the minor leagues, which he has done multiple times. And several Mets are not happy about it. Rightfully so:
A day after watching Oliver Perez implode in a relief appearance against the Brewers, two disgusted Mets players told The Post yesterday it’s time management drew a line in the sand with the putrid lefty.
"You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished," one Mets player said, 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?"
When the Mets signed Perez to a three year contract extension after the 2008 season, the deal seemed to be excessive for Perez even though his numbers over the previous two seasons were actually quite good. The problem with Perez was always his consistency. There would be starts where Perez would have absolutely no control mixed in with starts where he would look like one of the premier left handed pitchers in baseball. After striking out on Derek Lowe, the Mets figured that they could live with Perez's inconsistencies and hoped that the "good Ollie" would overshadow the "bad Ollie."
However, just twenty five months after he agreed to terms with the Mets, it's clear that "good Ollie" is nowhere to be found. At this point I'm sure Mets fans would take the inconsistent Oliver Perez as opposed to the consistently bad, overpaid Oliver Perez, who just so happens to be refusing assignments to the minor leagues left and right.
Perez's refusal to go to the minor leagues and straighten himself out makes himself look bad, but at the same time hurts the Mets. Perez brings nothing to the table right now. Literally nothing. Perez is clearly more of a detriment to the team because his performance is so terrible and because he's taking up a roster spot.
So if Perez won't go down to the minors, why won't the Mets simply release him? One reason could be hubris. GM Omar Minaya obviously believed in Perez when he gave him a $36 million dollar deal, so cutting bait with Perez would clearly signal that Minaya, who is already on thin ice, made a crucial error by signing Perez. Another reason is that the Mets believe that Perez still has upside. It would not look good for Omar Minaya or any of the Mets personnel to see Perez thrive with another organization. He's shown his ability in the past and while he is light years away from that performance right now, there is always the risk that he could become the 2007-2008 version of Oliver Perez.
No matter what the reason, the Mets should take the advice of their two unnamed players and cut ties with Oliver Perez if he keeps refusing to go to the minors. Yes the Mets need pitching, but it's clear the Oliver Perez is not the answer and will not be the answer if he does not take a step back and go to the minors.