Good Ollie, Bad Ollie, Minors Ollie?
For Oliver Perez, decision day has arrived. Until now, Perez’s refusal to accept a Minor League assignment was little more than a nuisance for the Mets — they wanted him to go down, but they did not necessarily need him to.
Now, they need him to.
If Perez does not accept a Minor League assignment before the Mets activate Jon Niese from the disabled list on Saturday, he will handicap the team in a new and troubling way. Rather than demote Perez, who is not being used in any high- or even medium-leverage situations, the Mets will have to option Jenrry Mejia, Ryota Igarashi or Raul Valdes to Triple-A Buffalo, or perhaps even designate Elmer Dessens for assignment. All of those pitchers are useful to the Mets. Perez, right now, is not.
The benefits of a Minor League assignment go beyond that, also. Unlike in New York, where Perez has little opportunity to pitch, a stint at Buffalo would allow him to start every five days and, in theory, improve. Perhaps, weeks or even months from now, the Mets could extract something useful from his $36 million contract.
Otherwise, the Mets will have to start thinking about eating the money and releasing him. And that helps no one at all.
—–Follow along on Twitter @anthonydicomo.