Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list follows last week's biggest blockbusters with the complete opposite: the biggest busts in Met history. Today we take a look at the fifth biggest bust in Mets history, Oliver Perez.
5. Oliver Perez
All Time Mets Stats: 29-29, 4.71 ERA, 101 Games, 91 Starts, 520 Innings Pitched, 484 Hits, 301 Walks, 494 Strikeouts, 1.51 WHIP
Analysis: Oliver Perez is a name many Mets fans don't want to hear any time soon. His place on the biggest busts list is well earned. Perez, who was originally a throw-in piece for the infamous Xavier Nady trade (thank Duaner Sanchez's taxi driver for that one), had one of the most embattled tenures in franchise history. Perez made a couple of starts in the second half of the 2006 season, but was forced into playoff starts due to injury (Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez) and ineffectiveness. Steve Trachsel's complete meltdown in game three of the 2006 NLCS, combined with a serviceable outing from Perez in game four, allowed Perez to receive the start in the critical seventh game. Perez pitched admirably given the circumstances, allowing only one earned run in six strong innings, but was bailed out at the end of his night by Endy Chavez's tremendous catch. Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a home run and doubled off Jim Edmonds to give Perez a strong outing.
Perez built on his postseason success, winning 15 games in 2007 and another 10 in 2008 to become a stable piece of the Mets' rotation. Perez's 2008 season was inconsistent, and he entered free agency with an uncertain future. The Mets faced a choice as they looked to solidify their rotation: re-sign Perez or spend a little more money for durable right hander Derek Lowe. Mets General Manager Omar Minaya opted to re-sign Ollie to a three year deal worth 36 million dollars, and no sooner after signing the contract Perez reverted to his old inconsistent self.
Perez had an awful 2009 season, going 3-4 with a 6.28 ERA while batting patella tendinitis in his right knee. Perez continued to stink up the joint in 2010, and caused controversy when he refused a minor league rehab assignment to work on his questionable command. Perez was demoted to the bullpen following yet another DL stint, finishing 2010 with an 0-5 record and a 6.80 ERA. Perez's poor work ethic and attitude were on full display in spring training of 2011, and the Mets new GM, Sandy Alderson, had enough. Alderson released Perez during spring training, eating the last 12 million dollars on his contract to rid the clubhouse of a clear cancer. Perez, along with Luis Castillo, had been regarded as a negative presence on the team and his colossal flop was a big factor in causing Omar Minaya to lose his job. Perez only picked up three wins after he received his big deal with the Mets, making him a bust of monumental proportions.
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