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Perez Says Phone Never Rang

On Feb. 5, Odalis Perez signed a one-year minor league deal with the Nationals, thus beginning a 2-1/2-week tenure with the team that included a few sleepless nights (Perez couldn't stand the thought of his contractual plight) and, as we learn here, some very strange phone malfunctioning.

Either that, or Manny Acta and Jim Bowden never tried calling him.

To recap: Perez signed the deal. Then he decided it wasn't good enough. Then he decided not to show up to camp. Both Bowden and Acta tried to call him -- repeatedly. (That's what they say, at least.) But today, Perez said he never heard from them.

Perez says that nine or ten teams are interested in him.

At least that's what he is hearing.

By Chico Harlan  |  March 3, 2009; 7:46 PM ET
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9 or 10 teams, huh? Is one of them the Fort Worth Cats?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 3, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Whatever Odalis. Next?

Posted by: johnnybaconbitz | March 3, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Not even a call from his agent??

Posted by: tomfoc31 | March 3, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The more I read about this (and the more I hear about Nats starting pitching) the happier I am about how it all turned out.

Posted by: wigi | March 3, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I dunno -- I was kind of looking forward to Odalis' next game with Angel Herandez umpiring.

Posted by: joebleux | March 3, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

If there are 9 or 10 teams interested, then what's his complaint? Surely, if that's the case he's much better off then before. I suspect he will sign a contract because left-handed pitchers are a valuable commodity and he could prove useful as a 5th starter or as insurance against injury somewhere. I don't think the Nats are going to miss him and I'm glad they didn't renegotiate the contract. Let's hope this is the last time we hear from O. Perez until we play against him sometime this season (and we get the victory, of course.)

Posted by: grforbes | March 3, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Well call him dammit. He's useful.

Posted by: soundbloke | March 3, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I still don't think they had an obligating agreement with him. Just a memo of understanding/intent. Non-binding in most legal circles. Just ask John Schuerholz.

Posted by: AnonymousSources | March 3, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

He's blaming his telephone? C'mon, what kind of fool does he take us for? Does he think we don't realize that one of his cousins is to blame?


Posted by: kevincostello | March 3, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke is right -- he is useful. I also agree that he may never have been actually inked. Perez is on the radar of several clubs. He's a lefty and he made something like 30 starts last year. That puts him in some rare company in terms of available pitchers right now. Maybe Philly takes him to fill the lefty out of the pen void they have. Who knows. Barring injury in the WBC, he will play in MLB this year. No doubt.

Posted by: dfh123 | March 3, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish Chico would take an interest in finding out the actual status of the deal.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | March 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Nine or ten Victoria's Secret models are interested in me.

Posted by: tallbaby2121 | March 3, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Stan and Zimmerman's agent remember to use paper if they come to a long-agreement this week.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 3, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Long-term agreement, that is.

Tallbaby- I suggest you sign with one of them quickly.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 3, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Nine or 10 Nigerian oil ministers are interested in making a very lucrative long-term banking deal with me.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 3, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

... that's priceless, jdschulz50.

... seriously, I can accept that Jim B never made a call then said he did. But I could never accept that of Manny.

... I don't know what happened, and I know we might find a use for OP's arm. But right now, let's leave JB and OP and move on.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 3, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Whatever. What normal person doesn't show up to work and then gets mad at his boss for not calling? The nerve.

If he had 9 or 10 offers, why's he still hung up on the Nats?


Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is how this isn't verified. If his contract was inked, wouldn't it be in the MLB Hall of Contracts or wherever they stick these things? Presumably SOMEBODY would have a copy with signatures to produce. Has anyone at the Post tried to find this out?

I see no reason to take anyone's side in this story, at this point, I'm not sure how everyone else knows what happened already.

Posted by: Section506 | March 3, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Mea culpa, Chico says right there that it was signed.

Posted by: Section506 | March 3, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, the Nats said that they had reached an "agreement" with him - so, verbally, Odalis' agent told the Nats that his client (Odalis) agreed to the terms. But the contract was never executed by both parties.

Posted by: comish4lif | March 3, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now I'm confused again, because Chico clearly says "signed a deal" instead of "agreed on a deal."

Anyone have clarification?

Posted by: Section506 | March 3, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Wait, those calls "for Odalis" **weren't** prank calls??


Posted by: CEvansJr | March 3, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, back when this was fresh news, the report was they had a signed terms sheet, which I would imagine is enough that the Nationals would consider it a contract if Odalis had then gotten a better offer and tried to sign with someone else.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 3, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

One guess where Jorge Sosa are from?

mm hm. Dominican Republic.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Somebody show Odalis how to use the phone. He doesn't know he can call out.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 4, 2009 4:49 AM | Report abuse

my phone doesn't ring when i turn it off either. good riddance.

i'd much rather see balester or zimmermann.

Posted by: longterm | March 4, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

They should have texted him. All the kids are doing it.

Posted by: Section506 | March 4, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone have clarification?"

Chico was being less than precise?

Posted by: JhonnyBheGhood | March 4, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps by not answering the phone Perez is just laying the groundwork to make sure that none of the 9 or 10 teams interested in him tries to stick him in the bullpen.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 4, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

By all acounts I've read, Odalis actually signed a deal. But I have also read that it would not have mattered if he had not signed the deal because the deal was duly recoegnized by both the players union and MLB as binding. No one (including the union) is saying Odalis was not obligated to report. He simply changed his mind and through his agent and/or the press announced he would not report(apparently through telepathy since his phone did not work). The Nationals subsequently released him because he is not good enough to fight for.

He likely would have made the team, but he would likely not have made the team better.

Posted by: natbisquit | March 4, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

There still seems to be some vagueness regarding what the status of the contract was, but like natscan I have a hard time believing that Acta would lie about it.

The phone thing is odd, though. If you really were interested, and you'd not heard from them, why would you or your agent not just pick up the phone and call? If I've not heard back from a client about a project, I don't just sit on my hands and bemoan the fact that they "never" called or emailed me. I check it out with them and then move on as appropriate.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 4, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 4, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"Perez says that nine or ten teams are interested in him.

At least that's what he is hearing."

Did he say how he was hearing? By phone?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 4, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

That'll teach him to not turn off the ringer.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 4, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Guess the phone doesn't work both ways.

Posted by: dand187 | March 4, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Perez is a back of the rotation starter at this point of his career. He will be picked up by a team and will be in the majors in 2009.

I think part of what happened here was that the quality of the Nationals' rotation has improved enough that Perez might have found it difficult to nail down a starting job and then would have been embarrassed to be released because his deal was not guaranteed.

I am glad to see him go. He was a placeholder, taking a spot that could go to a younger player with greater upside.

This is not a 95 win team. There is no reason NOT to advance younger players here.

That is what rebuilding is all about.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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