Mets Add By Subtracting
In the last few days the New York Mets have released two players who were big parts of the team in the recent years. In doing so, they improved the team both on and off of the field immensely.
It was only three days after Luis Castillo was released that Lefty Oliver Perez found out that he was to suffer the same fate. In an offseason that has been defined by financial peril and uncertainty, the Mets’ decision to eat Castillo’s remaining $6M and Perez’s remaining $12M seems to be financially irresponsible at the surface. Looking deeper into the team who will take the field next week, the moves could end up being exactly what the Mets have needed.
Since the Mets signed him to a 3 year $36 million dollar deal, Oliver Perez has been nothing but a disappointment. He went 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA in 31 appearances (21 starts) during the first two seasons of the contract. Last year he finished the season 0-5 with an ERA of just under 7. He walked more men than he struck out, and his refusal to go to the minors in the late season to work on fundamentals put a cap on what has been a tumultuous relationship between the lefty and the team. After being released, Oliver seemed to be level-headed about the situation:
”When they told me, I almost knew what they were going to tell me…It’s one of those times you don’t feel great, but I don’t want to quit. I think they gave me an opportunity. They were fair with me when I came here. I didn’t do anything great. They moved me to the bullpen trying to be a lefty specialist. And the last game, that was a real horrible job.”
Veteran 2nd Baseman Luis Castillo was also released this week and has since been signed by the Philadelphia Phillies to a minor league contract. Although these two deals still represent a large sum of money that the Mets have invested, the openings on the roster make room for young guns like Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell, who both figure to be a large factor for the Mets as the season progresses.