The Mets, incidentally, need someone in Perez’s spot who can not only be a pressure valve for the unholy workload Jerry Manuel is foisting upon his other relievers, but can be a reliable sixth starter. The good part about R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi succeeding early on is obvious, but the negative will become clear should the Mets have any additional pitcher injuries (or should Jon Niese fail to return this weekend, as expected)….
Show Oliver Perez the door. He’s making his $36 million either way. That’s a sunk cost. And he still might have some magic left in that arm. There’s simply no way to coax it out of him in the present circumstances.
If Howard — who just might be Ollie Perez’s biggest fan — is calling for his head then it’s pretty clear Perez’s ship has left Queens. Only it hasn’t, of course. It remains docked pathetically in the bullpen, occasionally sputtering out to the mound when the Mets need a tug, then breaking down itself as soon as its put to work.
I don’t know that there’s a Mets fan out there who thinks Perez should still be on the team, so I’ll spare you the list of reasons he does not deserve a spot on the 25-man roster. Howard brings up sunk cost, though, and since the team’s inability to grasp that concept has been one of my favorite points of contention since my first days writing on the web, I figured I’d go over it again here.
This is mostly semantics, but that’s not really the case. It cost the Mets $36 million (committed over three years) to sign Perez before the 2009 season. Cutting him is almost free. All $36 million were as good as gone as soon as he inked the deal, so if the Mets think they can find a better player to fill his roster spot over the next season and a half, the money Perez is owed is immaterial. The only cost to the Mets is the salary of the replacement player on the roster, presumably the Major League minimum.
Mets fans and media love to point to the example of the Angels and Gary Matthews Jr. when discussing sunk cost, and it is a good one. But — semantics again — the wording often bothers me. I brought this up in my piece for the Amazin’ Avenue Annual:
When the Mets acquired Matthews from the Angels, his old team agreed to pay all but $2 million of the $23.5 million he is owed over the remaining two years of his contract. So the deal brought a fair share of Internet snark that suggested the Angels had paid $21.5 million for Brian Stokes, a marginal middle reliever.
But that’s not really what happened. Matthews, relegated to a backup role behind Torii Hunter in Anaheim, was more or less worthless to the Angels, even if they had committed to paying him $23.5 million more. Since that money was, in theory, gone — stricken from their coffers as soon as they ill-advisedly signed it away to Matthews — it’s probably more accurate to say they got $2 million of salary reliever from the Mets over the next two seasons, plus Brian Stokes, in exchange for Gary Matthews. And when you put it that way, the deal looks better for the Angels.
The Mets probably won’t find anyone to provide any relief for Ollie though. But since Ollie himself can’t provide any relief either, it’s time to let him go. If he succeeds elsewhere, he succeeds elsewhere. There is very little to suggest that will happen, and if by some strange chance it does, it will be downright silly to fault the Mets for assuming it wouldn’t.