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Odalis Perez Holding Out

Washington pitcher Odalis Perez still is not in camp. And according to one report, he might not be showing up any time soon. Perez, still in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, told that he is holding out for a better deal.

"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.

Less than two weeks ago, the Nationals signed Perez to a minor-league deal worth $850,000 if he makes the big league club -- a deal identical to the one he signed in 2008, when he started 30 games and had a 4.34 ERA.

After this morning's workout, the first for pitchers and catchers, Manager Manny Acta indicated that the team had been unable to get in touch with Perez, and was still trying to determine his whereabouts.

General Manager Jim Bowden said today that the Nationals "have an agreement with Odalis Perez -- and a signed terms sheet that has been confirmed by the players' association" and Major League Baseball's labor relations department. Bowden added that Washington expects Perez to report under the current terms.

But an MLBPA database of approved contracts does not show Perez's deal with Washington, a source said.

Baseball's collective bargaining agreement stipulates that players must be in camp by February 22. But an exception is made for those participating in the World Baseball Classic, and Perez told that he now hopes to play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, a means for showcasing his value for other teams.

"Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it," Perez said. "I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 16, 2009; 7:23 PM ET
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Next: More On Perez


Note to Odalis: If you want guaranteed money, might I suggest doing something to EARN it (as I channel John Houseman...only the older folks will get that one...).

Posted by: TimDz | February 16, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

See ya, Odalis. (Paper Chase?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 16, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

tell him to take a walk.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 16, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice pull natsfan1a1...kinda...

Right actor...but the line came from an old Smith-Barney commercial ("They earn money the old fashion way...they EARRRRRRN it...).

Posted by: TimDz | February 16, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse


1. "a signed terms sheet that has been confirmed by the players' association" and Major League Baseball's labor relations department."

2. "MLBPA database of approved contracts does not show Perez's deal with Washington,"

Difference or JimBow being full of it?

Posted by: estuartj | February 16, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

from MLBTR:
This isn't the first time Perez reacted childishly when he felt he wasn't getting proper recognition.

He stopped his O's 45's program, in which he bought 45 tickets for inner-city school children to attend his starts, after losing his starting job. He said he would not reinstate the program now that he is starting again because he felt he never got enough credit from the club or the public for his charitable contributions.

"When you spend your own money you want to be recognized for that," Perez said. "I don't want to be a hero, but just pay more attention to what I'm doing. People don't want to give me the recognition for it."

Posted by: MrMadison | February 16, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Odalis makes me laugh. Stay home then! That is the appreciation you deserve.

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 16, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. I always thought there was too much "Dallas" in his name to be on a DC team anyway. See ya! D0uch3!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 16, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Come on now. Give him a break. It is not as if he balked twice in one game on a Sunday afternoon last season... Oh what, he did. Now he wants to hold out for more money when he is lucky to have an offer!?!
Odalis, remember to take your jacket from the batboy on your way out of town.

Posted by: Batboy05 | February 16, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

don't let the door hit ya in the azz on the way out....

Posted by: outrbnksm | February 16, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not particularly ready to turn on Odalis yet, but I'm not particularly ready for the Nats to pay him significantly more either. ESPN Deportes has a history of getting the story wrong.

I'm assuming there was a communication problem between player-agent-team, but if they could work it out, I would still like to see Odalis get a chance to earn a job.

Frankly considering that Redding is worth 2.5 to the Mets and Cabrera is in that price range, and Hill is jusdged to be worth $750k, it was suprising to get Odalis for a non-guaranteed $900k. But if Odalis thinks there are better offers out there, let him find them.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 16, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I agree with the guy and was pretty surprised they offered as low as they did. He really did a lot more for the team than anyone expected.

But he should have brought this up a long time ago. Going about it this way is just absolutely classless and I hope we call his bluff.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 16, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Supply and demand. The Nats have enough supply of pitching that they aren't willing to meet his demand of a gauranteed major league deal. Sign of progress for the Nats that they don't have to give guaranteed money to a cry baby w/ a 4.35 ERA.

Posted by: Avar | February 16, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

why sign the deal if you didnt like it? stay home then and see where that gets ya. moron.

Posted by: DER27 | February 16, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

If he wanted better terms he should have negotiated for them before signing an agreement. If the Nats in fact have a signed agreement, Odalis is SOL.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | February 16, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Talk about holding out... Why the duck is The Washington Post holding out!?!? Why can't I get Nationals Journal on my iPhone through the Post mobile site. Just about every other sports blog is accessible except for NJ. This is totally unacceptable especially since Spring Training has commenced. Anyone listening?

Posted by: Keenan1 | February 16, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me one of two things is true - 1. Odalis signed a deal, is now thinking better of it, and is trying to renegotiate, or 2. Bowden didn't quite have him as "signed" as he thought he did.

In either case, where's Odalis been for two weeks? In the case where he wasn't actually "signed" why didn't he or his agent refute the story immediately when it was reported? If he was signed and thought better of it, then fine, best of luck - I was totally supportive of giving him the same deal as last year, but there's no way I'd suggest tying up a rotation spot without at least looking to see how the kids pitch in Spring Training.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a tough you believe Odalis or JimBo that a signed agreement exists? MLBPA database says there's nothing.

Can someone explain the difference between a signed terms sheet and a contract and how they're used?

Posted by: ramgut | February 16, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

He seems to have underestimated how hard it is to find mediocre pitchers.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 16, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that Odalis is banking on the Lerner's reputation for being flexible, how many times has Ted Lerner been quoted as saying "contract smontrack..heck just because it is in the contract doesn't mean it is a commitment, just do what you want, it will work itself out."

Posted by: cabraman | February 16, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree, NatsNut. A tacky way to go about things. Speaking of tacky, nice find by MrMad on the tickets program.

Thanks to natbisquit for the ESPN Deportes perspective.

Oh, and extra snark points for cabraman.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 17, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

The Nats should just guarantee the money and let him earn some performance bonus(es). Even if he does not make the rotation, though he should likely be able to do so, he'd be a lefty out of the bull pen, which is certainly worth $1M these days.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 17, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm making a point of clicking on every Nats story link every day. I'm not going to be the reason the Post thinks there are only 12 fans.

That being said, I didn't read the Perez story - I only clicked on it. I was in such a great mood after reading about Flores, and I didn't want to ruin it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 17, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The Flores article was great, and it also answered my question about Corrales' ST role. I'm glad to hear that he and Jesus are still working together, with former catcher Knorr also in the mix. Thanks for the piece, Chico.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 17, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget to click on the Bog, as there's a Nats piece up there as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 17, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Dribs and drabs ...

First, on Perez, it seems I don't know all the facts, so I will refrain from disparaging anyone's character or opining on what "should" happen. (That minor-league deal sure did sound like a great one for the team.)

Keenan1, until the Post's mobile site is brought up to your preferred specs, just type "Nationals Journal" into a Google. That's what I do when I'm using the little woman's mobile device, and it works for me. (The iPhone's got that full browser.)

Finally, estuartj said something a post or two back, that "If we send [Balester] to AAA he'd have to stay almost the whole summer there to avoid hitting arbitration after '11." See, this is what happens when fans start talking about labor rules: they start to think those rules are what matter. I can think of some *baseball* reasons why the Nats would send Balester to the minors. Not everything is about trying to avoid paying players.

Now, I'll grant that understanding the rules can sometimes help us understand teams' decisions, but you can get too far into the weeds and lose sight of the real issue at hand.

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 17, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

OD Perez its been real but it hasn't been that real. Enjoy your time w/the DR team during the WBC. Nothing to see here folks, you can keep moving on.

In all honesty with young arms like Olsen, Lannen, Cabrerra, Ballester, Zimmerman, Martis, Detwiller, Clipperd (even Strausberg in Sept) etc., and the hope for a guy who can be a real master on the mound like Sean Hill, OD Perez was at best a stop-gap if all of the above imploded prior to the first week in April.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 17, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

But...but...we have our torches all lit up and our pitchforks in hand and everything, Scooter...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Odalis' career stats is worth asking for his contract to redone. His ERA is good but his win/loss record is terrible. Note to Odalis; if you want your contract to be redone, you first have to show you're worth having it redone. Just a thought.

Posted by: georgemt | February 17, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

159.7 IP and a 101 ERA+

182 IP and a 89 ERA+

One is worth guaranteed $2.25m and the other is worth an NRI and 850k.

Can you guess which is which?

Odalis shouldn't be instructing his agent in anything, he should be firing the loser. His performance is worth far more then 850k. He's dead right about that.

Scott Olsen got $2.8m and was less valuable than Odalis last year. (More IP but a lower ERA+)

Posted by: traderkirk | February 17, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about this. From the looks of the Mets recent signings, Tim Redding might be available come April 1.

Posted by: MBUSA | February 17, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

More on OP in the new post...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 17, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

If there is a signed contract, as the Nationals contend, there should be no further discussion and I would expect this tantrum would significantly reduce his chances of making the team.

If, on the other hand, the T's have not been crossed and there is no enforceable contract, this gives the Nationals the opportunity to walk away, no?

Posted by: Meridian1 | February 17, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey 1a, I never said *you* couldn't use your pitchfork. If you've already got it out, what the hey.

(Why am I so confident you'll actually check back here and see this comment?)

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 17, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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