Mets Left Out of Bargain Shopping

As with Jason Varitek, it seemed most likely that Oliver Perez was going to end up back with his “former” team this winter and today that officially came to fruition as Perez agreed to what is being reported as 3-year, $36-million contract.

Perez has had some wild swings in performance over the past three seasons and his projections reflect that, disagreeing with a rather large variance. Just as a recap, here is Oliver Perez‘s last five seasons by WAR, starting with the most present: 1.3, 2.2, 0.0, -1.0, 4.5. What to make of that? Clearly the 4.5 now looks like a fluke. Sure, Perez has the stuff to repeat that season, but aside from that year (and even that year his strikeout rate was far higher than expected given his other results), he’s never had the control to post big win rates.

Of all the reasonable systems, Marcel loves Perez the most, but even its projected FIP of 4.52 for Perez is below average (though better than his 2008) and with a reduction in innings, Perez comes out to around 2.1 wins via Marcel. CHONE is the most pessimistic, seeing Perez as posting a FIP near 5 and amounting to 1.1 wins, far closer to his 2008 total of 1.3.

Given a three-year deal at $36 million, the Mets are paying Perez as if he’s a three-win pitcher, a figure Perez has only reached that breakout year in 2004. The Mets are essentially banking on Perez doubling his value while under contract from 2009-11 and that’s not a good bet. I don’t know what kind of deal Ben Sheets is angling after, or what the extent of his medical reports indicate, but given his projected FIPs, Ben Sheets only has to average 76 innings per year to match Oliver Perez in value.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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It’s unbelievable to me that a guy like Perez is given a three-year deal at $12 million per for being fairly mediocre while Randy Wolf, a better pitcher, will probably settle for a lowball one-year contract. Sometimes I just don’t understand baseball very much at all.