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The Mets and Oliver Perez–at least he is our Enigma.

There are recent reports that the Mets have offered Oliver Perez a three year contract of approximately $30 million dollars. With the Atlanta Braves seemingly locking up Derek Lowe, with a reported four year deal, the Mets additional starting picture options seem to start and end with Ollie.

In his two full seasons with the Mets, since being acquired from Pittsburgh, Perez has compiled a record of 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 194 innings this past year, and a record of 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 177 innings in 2007.

Ollie Perez has shown the ability to perform in high pressure situations and games against the Yankees, Phillies and Braves over those two years, who happen to be our three biggest rivals. This is no small accomplishment, as us Met fans are very familiar with Mets meltdowns, especially September meltdowns. Being left-handed makes him even more valuable against the Mets main rival, the despised Phillies, with their predominately lefty lineup, including Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and its latest free agent acquisition, Raul Ibanez.

We Met fans have been waiting for Ollie to put it all together and become a consistent part of the rotation during his tenure with the Mets. The Perez we know can be dominant, and in the same inning, much less game, blow up with wildness and lose his location and control. There definitely is an argument that the consistency that Derek Lowe has shown throughout his career might have been worth the extra years and money it would have taken to bring him to New York.

The flip side that I will take is that at least with Ollie we know what we are dealing with, a still maturing 28 year old established major league pitcher, with the necessary talent and heart to pitch in the glare of New York (ask Ed Whitson and Kevin Brown about that), who seems to have Mets pitching coach John Warthen’s ear in his efforts to harness that talent. There is something about harvesting your own talent instead of bringing in another free agent acquisition and hope that the right chemistry is there. At least with Ollie Perez we know the chemistry we have- the problem is you never know when it might become combustible.

Mets blog writer- Frank Barone


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