The D-backs signed lefty Oliver Perez to a minor league contract, Perez himself tells Nick Piecoro of the Republic of Arizona (Twitter thread† Perez is a customer of the Boras Corporation.
The Arizona deal marks a change of plans for veteran Perez, who was previously slated to play with los Toros de Tijuana in the Mexican League next season. Perez announced that he planned to retire after spending the season with the Toros, although that signing and announcement came by Perez while the MLB lockout was still in effect. For now, Perez will shift his focus and instead aim for an incredible 20th MLB season.
Perez, 40, has spent the past four seasons in Cleveland, where he pitched to a combined 2.57 ERA in 94 2/3 frames of relief work. However, Perez threw only 3 2/3 innings in the Majors last year. He spent the rest of the season pitching for the same Toros club he planned to play for while the lockout was still in effect.
At this point, veteran Perez’s track record largely speaks for itself. After a rollercoaster career as a starting pitcher from 2002-10, Perez moved to the bullpen with the 2012 Mariners and embarked on what essentially amounted to a second career as a reliever. Long working as the quintessential lefty specialist, Perez has made 489 relief appearances and played a total of 350 innings of 3.42 ERA ball since the start of the 2012 campaign.
The implementation of the three batter minimum was not a great development for pitchers with specialized skills of this nature, but Perez had no trouble knocking out right-handed opponents in 2020. While it was a short sample, and his career numbers tell a different story, Perez was right with a .229/.342/.286 slash in 41 at bats that year and was effective in a further 10 attempts last year.