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February 18, 2014

Rumor Roundup

Looking for Lefty Relief

by Daniel Rathman


Four teams in on Oliver Perez
Two years ago, the Mariners revived Oliver Perez’s major-league career by moving him to the bullpen. He ended up spending two seasons in Seattle, the latter on a one-year, $1.5 million contract that he signed on November 3, 2012, less than five months after the Mariners brought him back to the Show. But the 32-year-old’s stay in the Emerald City might be over, with four teams in the running to become his next employer.

Cafardo believes that Perez could choose his team in the coming days so that he can report to camp and catch up with the pitchers who settled in last week. The four teams that are courting him remain a mystery, but Bob Dutton, who covers the Mariners for the Tacoma News Times, hasn’t heard anything to suggest that he might be back. First-year manager Lloyd McClendon already has a couple of lefties at his disposal in Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetge, and the Mariners invited Joe Beimel and Randy Wolf to camp to compete for jobs.

When the Mariners considered moving Perez at last year’s trade deadline, the Orioles came calling, according to Baltimore Sun beat writer Dan Connolly, But Buck Showalter’s bullpen already features at least two southpaws (Brian Matusz and T.J. McFarland), with Zach Britton a candidate to join them while Troy Patton serves his 25-game suspension. Baltimore also has a pair of left-handed Factors on the Farm in Mike Belfiore and Jason Gurka.

Perez’s 2013 campaign was a tale of two seasons. He fanned 50 batters in 36 innings before the All-Star break, posting a strikeout rate of over 33 percent, and walked only 15, adequate control for a pitcher who consistently missed bats. But his strikeout rate declined to 28.5 percent during the second half—acceptable for most pitchers, but not for one issuing 11 walks in 17 innings and getting shelled to the tune of a .324 average fueled by a .455 BABIP.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (02/18)
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