Odalis Perez Is Holding Out
UPDATE: Chico has a more in-depth breakdown right here. If he can dig up any more tonight it's the first place you'll see it, too.
That's the story according to ESPNDeportes, which got an interview with the pitcher in the Dominican Republic via Enrique Rojas, earlier today.
According to Rojas, Perez regrets giving the go-ahead on the $850,000, minor league deal he accepted with the Nationals through his agent, Martin Arburúa, earlier this winter. Now he says he's not showing up for camp until the situation gets addressed, both in terms of giving him more money, and guaranteeing the money that's already in the contract.
"I thought it best and I prefer to sit in my house if the Nationals do not show more appreciation for my work," Perez said from Santo Domingo.
"Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it. I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals," Perez said. He also added that he's not negotiating with other clubs.
The holdout revelation also helps explain why everyone is so surprised Perez isn't there. When Chico asked manager Manny Acta about Perez's absence a few hours ago, he said the team wasn't worried because the first official day for reporting was Feb. 22. At the time, he said, "Until then, we won't make a big deal."
This is what Acta's telling Rojas right now.
"The first time I became aware that something was happening was when ESPNdeportes.com contacted me to talk about the issue. The team informed me that there is a contract between the Nationals and Odalis in the commisioner's office," Acta said. ... "I really do not understand what is happening. I am waiting for Odalis since Saturday, but nobody has given me a reason for his absence from the field."
If that reads as if Acta is a little more upset now, we're betting he probably is. We don't blame him, either. Chico will probably have more on this later, so keep your eyes peeled on Nationals Journal and the rest of the Nats coverage tonight.
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