At one time, Oliver Perez was a pitcher that caused a lot of uncomfortable at-bats. The Mariners hope that he can be that player again.
Seattle announced this afternoon that they signed the 30-year-old left-hander to a one-year, minor-league contract.
Perez, plagued by control issues throughout his nine years in the majors, did not pitch in the majors last year. He spent the entire season with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in the Washington Nationals organization, going 3-5 with a 3.09 ERA (26 ER, 75.2 IP) with 58 strikeouts in 16 games, covering 75 2/3 innings.
This winter, he has pitched well in the Mexican Winter League. In 14 1/3 innings, he's struck out 19 with a 0.63 ERA despite an 0-2 record.
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Previously, he pitched for San Diego (2002-2003), Pittsburgh (2003-2006) and the New York Mets (2006-2010). He has a career record of 58-69 with a 4.63 ERA with 1,126 strikeouts – but 628 walks – in 1,111 2/3 innings.
Perez's last two seasons with the Mets were disastrous. He failed to pitch 70 innings in either season, and combined to walk 100 batters in 112 1/3 innings with an ERA over 6.80 in each season. That came on the heals of the 2008 season when he led the National League in walks with 105.
His best season with the Mets was 2007 when he went 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 177 innings. In 2004 with the Pirates, Perez went 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA while striking out 239 in 196 innings.