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Nationals Release Holdout Perez

The final line on Odalis Perez's second stint with the Washington Nationals: zero appearances, zero returned phone calls, zero benefit whatsoever.

Today, the Nationals released Perez, 31, terminating the waiting game that began almost two weeks ago when the left-hander decided not to report to camp. On Feb. 5, Perez had signed a non-guaranteed minor league contract with Washington, a deal that would pay him $850,000 if he made the club. But after Perez signed the deal, he regretted it. He held out for a better deal. He never reported to spring training. He cut off all contact with the team.

Yesterday was the mandatory reporting date for all players, and Perez remained out of reach.

Finally, the Nationals cut ties, and the only other question is whether Perez knows the news.

"He would not return our phone calls, and after talking internally with [Manager] Manny Acta and [pitching coach] Randy St. Claire and the organization, we all feel it's important that we want players here than want to be here and want to help us win, so we made that decision this morning," General Manager Jim Bowden said.

"Well, we left messages yesterday for his agent, left messages for him, again I left messages again this morning, and they've made their point really clear, and so we thanked Odalis; he did a good job for us last year, and we appreciate all he did for us, and obviously we're disappointed it turned out this way, but at the same time we need to turn the page. We've got a lot of pitchers in camp that are committed to helping us win, and we want players that want to be here."

Perez's first stint with the Nationals had been fruitful for both sides. Signed in February 2008 as insurance for a wobbly pitching staff, Perez made the team, started on Opening Day and made 30 starts (7-12, 4.34 ERA). But Perez failed to parlay that solid season into a lucrative deal, and ended up finding little interest on the open market.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 23, 2009; 11:19 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Nats Plan Their Next Steps
Next: Bowden Denies Wrongdoing [Updated]


Good move. Though it would have been nice to have him to keep Jordan Zimm in the minors a bit longer and slow his arb clock.

Seriously, what better deal is he going to get? Good luck. I'm sure his agent is pissed.

Posted by: dclifer | February 23, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

got new posted:

If Bowden is fired, it's not going to be because Frowney duped him - it's going to be because he stole money from Frowney.

FBI investigations are not things to be taken lightly and this cloud over JimBo's head makes it impossible to do his job. He can't sign any international players and his integrity and credibility among his peers is damaged which will make trades more difficult to pull off.

So if this situation, just or not, prevents him from doing his job - he needs to be replaced.

The Nats need to trade some of their surplus players but I doubt JimBo can accomplish that due to his situation.

I say cut bait and move on with Rizzo as the interim GM and let the Lerners and Kasten hire someone who's 'their' pick.

Posted by: sec307 | February 23, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Now he can pitch in Fort Worth with Aaron

Posted by: 6thandD | February 23, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I kinda hoped to have Perez back, just for some continuity for my fan-ness. Oh well, good luck getting a team who wants to deal with you now, Odalis.

There are two good points made on Bowden in the last few threads:

1) That he is innocent until he is proven guilty. It's just an investigation, not a conviction. There may be quite a few people out there who are more than happy to throw Bowden under the bus and anonymous sources leaking is usually one of the worst reasons to make a decision. Who knows how many others are under investigation, since that was conveniently not leaked.

2) The Lerners are not the government. They have every right to terminate his contract for any reason (other than race, sex, creed, etc.) and if his being investigating means he can't do the job as GM anymore, then he should go for the good of the team.

We're not at the distraction phase, I would say. A lot of people are being investigated and everyone in baseball knows it. If the Feds bring up charges, it means that they will argue Bowden is guilty of wrongdoing and THEN he would be different from a lot of other people and unable to do his job.

Of course, for a lot of you this is Christmas Day, because you're looking for any and every reason to ditch Bowden. I still don't really understand why. If there's one thing baseball proves over and over again, one man does not make the difference.

Posted by: Section506 | February 23, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In other news, the Nationals have announced they've come to terms with a 16-year old Dominican pitcher named Schmodalis Schmerez, securing his future services with a $2m signing bonus.

Posted by: thurdl01 | February 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Odalis is gonna be on a MLB roster sooner than later. I mean he IS lefthanded and all.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 23, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh darn, there goes the pennant...

Posted by: pondaz | February 23, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I would have hung onto him so, that he couldn't be signed by another team, just out of pure spite. I mean, how hard is it to return a phone call? If he returns a phone call and discusses things like a Man, they very well may have come to the same conclusion and released him.

He pouts like a baby and doesn't return phone calls and he gets what he wants?
I just don't understand that. Respect is a two way street.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

7-12 with a 4.34 ERA is a solid season? Sounds more like low expectations, perhaps explaining why the Nats are so awful.

However, on the Odalis front, I lived in LA when he was with the Dodgers. He was thoroughly disliked and when he left, a collective cheer was easily heard.

Posted by: jir007 | February 23, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The standards in MLB sure have changed over the years. Geez, a guy takes the hill to the tune of a 4.34 ERA as a 30 year old veteran and he is judged to have a 'solid' season?

In my book Perez was mediocre. He filled a role on a team destined to lose 100 games and one that saw many players with upside end up on IR instead of the ball field.

Perez will get a deal with another club. Pitchers get hurt often enough that there is always demand out there for a healthy arm.

But as with Washington it will be a low deal in the $800-$1.2M range that he was set to sign here.

Poor Odalis, he was making $7M in Kansas City (on his old Dodgers contract) putting up these same mediocre numbers and I guess he thought he deserved $7M from the Nationals.

Let him be the #5 pitcher for the Padres, Giants, Pirates or Mariners.

Life won't be any better for him there than it would have been here.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 23, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Bingo....just as I had previously predicted. Didn't need him anyway, why waste the effort.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 23, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not defending Perez, but for those aghast that his 7-12, 4.34 ERA record is considered "solid", it is important to know that the NL ERA last season was 4.28 (11,023 ER in 23,135.33 innings) and that Perez' 7 wins was 3rd on the team. Just sayin' ...

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 23, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope someone else signs him and we get the chance to SHELL him later in the year. Just have Eck tell the entire lineup the plan is to hit back up the middle the entire game.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | February 23, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It's really too bad that the Nats rewarded Perez for his unprofessional conduct by giving him exactly what he wanted: his release. Sends the wrong signal to future signees. They should have held him hostage, at least through Spring Training.

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 23, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not sure Perez is such a bad guy here. The Nats CLAIM they had a deal with the guy, but did they? On Feb 5 the report was that he had signed a term sheet, on Feb 15 or so he says he was wrong to have instructed his agent to sign the term sheet on his behalf and he wants out (the agent's ink might be worthless, the term sheet might not be binding, etc.). Bowden claimed the signed term sheet had been "confirmed by the players' association" but MLBPA never showed the deal as a confirmed contract. If Bowden was right, how come no contract shown on the database?

So, the Nats "release" of Perez today may not mean much seeing that may never have caught the guy to being with.

Anyway, Perez will pitch in MLB this year, and, sadly, the odds are he will pitch for a team with better chances to contend than the Nats.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 23, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Jim Bowden is an honest man and He's an excellent GM.

What he needs is a hard nosed field manager and they will win.

I played with Earl"sidney" Weaver and the bluefield Orioles in 77 ..I can make them Win ..
I'd say let Bowden talk to Mark Lerner and give me the freakin Job ..

I don't care if anybody thinks I didnt do the moinors didn't do it as a player except for bluefiel club rookie league neither did Earl Weaver and he's in the hall of fame.

Gimme the job.

Rising Major league Manager , Renny Felson

Posted by: godwetrust2001 | February 23, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Renny -

Could you direct me to a link that proves you played in the Orioles organization? Or with Earl Weaver for the Bluefield Orioles in 1977, when he managed the Baltimore Orioles? I can't find it.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 24, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Ok ..I am currently writing a book titled ''In the Major leagues at age of 12 .
I worked for the baltimore orioles from age of 12 till I was 18 .

I played for the Bluefield Club with Eddie Murray just recentle signed Our manager for that club luefield) was Cal Ripken Sr.
Its verifiable although since I was free agent signee after college is not in any archive but yes if you like to verify it just e-mail me at and I will give you Information of present head scouting Director that saw me first hand when I worked for Oriole and furthermore he knows the scout who signed me personally .

this same guy offer me a job with the dodgers in 92.

I am curently living in Florida working very close with MLB and scouts and writing my Book. I am slated to make history .

I am going to be the first guy tomanage a Major league team that Has experience from age of 12 ..and that came form Earl " Sidney" Weaver .

I been steady on the nationsl to give the job to turn the franchise around for the but as you know 99 out of 100 people dont believe a story like mine

..but yes the answer is that is veryfiable and very much something that I set out to do ..
You got the current Manager of the Nationals saying one day that team will be ready to win in 2009 ..Just last night on yahoo sports MLB he says . he made 300 in a-ball and making 500,oo now..
but that he's ok having job in 2009 .. he doesnt mind taking pay cut and be out of work in 2010 ..
what kind of message is that .. your saying you dont care to loose in 2009 as long as you have a job and when tea is lsated to win according to you . is 2010 and you dont mind not being there ..quote" he sadi this I told the Nats ' to look at it '

again.. stories like mine are Unique I am glad I was of help ..if you e-mail me I will give you more info..

What the Nats Need I offered it to them again last Night I've gotten a couple of e-mails form Bobby Williams Player director about pitching coach position in the experience in dealing with players aI learned at an early Age ..

I hope someone in the Lerner family looks into my Proposal it will be and hopefully for the nationsl ..i will be the biggest story in Major League Baseball.

Posted by: godwetrust2001 | February 25, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The Owners like Ted Lerner or any other Owner..this is the story in baseball this year''

if someone opens up and goes for the glory of making a change in the game and its sport.

I willl be the best freakin Manager in Baseball when one of these Owners ees what I am doing.. I will take the Nationals to the playoffs and possibly and maybe The Worls Series but one thing for sure I will turn them into a Winning franchise right Now..

Again is all a process and someone seeing this believeing it looking into it ..and making a ove..I 'm in Florida .the nationals have my resume and coverl letter and stack of e-mails I wrote them as close as last Night .

Stan Kasten and a lot of other probably will not give it any weight '' butit will be the biggest comeback in history Of basbeall .

The Renny Felson Story " portrayed the life of Earl'Sidney" Weaver.

Posted by: godwetrust2001 | February 25, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I remeber when Charlie Finley of the A's in 70's all the players grew mustaches.. and whitre shoes they went to Word Series.

If the National give me the jon and fire this Nut they got managing ..they will see instant Turnaround in the franchise.

They dont have what it takes as far as leadership ..Bowden is good , but everyone wants to go one way ...

Eventually when this story breaks it will be the biggest 'its a true story of courage and deternination' I was in the dugout with Earl Weaver at age of 12 ..

Posted by: godwetrust2001 | February 25, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I worked for the Orioles as a bat Boy from age of 12 till I was 17 .. and then played with bluefield club roster..Cal Ripken Sr. manager and Eddie Murray was my teammante recently just signed from the dodgers for $25,000 signing Bonus.

Right Now I am working to land a job with Washigthon Nationals as there new Field Manager.., will see is hard for them to buy this ...especially I am talking to come in and be there New Fied Manager.

It would be the best thing for D,C Fans and Baseball But An Owner has to call me in and give me the freaki Job.

Keep In Mind I m a baseball man been one for 40 years I worked form 12 till about 20 with Orioles ..and Now this Huge return to Major League Baseball.

Some people Never heard of Me But I can assure you there are people in baseball Right Now Know who I am and my baseball Background for the oriole days.

I am Currently living in Boca raton and Working with major league exces to dimish the high Salaries and steroid scandals and bring fans back to the game..

I am also in pursuit of the Washingthon Nationals Skipper's Job..

let's ee I know when Book comes out the Offers will be out of the roof'.. but let's see if The Lerner's step up to the Plate Now and Make History..

they got my resume and my Info I am waiting for the call.

Renny Felson

Posted by: godwetrust2001 | February 25, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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