Odalis Perez Returns With Minor League Deal

The Nationals continued their search for missing pieces by signing left-hander Odalis Perez to a minor league deal. Perez held down a spot in the Nationals rotation last season, but wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.

In some ways, Odalis Perez is a victim of the slow free agent market. In many other winters, a guy coming off a season where he sported a 4.34 ERA would have gotten a lot more attention than he did and could have gotten a lot more money than he will.

Perhaps anticipating how things would go, the Nationals elected not to re-sign Perez at the end of the season. After spending three months as a free agent, Perez accepted a minor league deal with the club, including an invitation to spring training.

Perez started 30 games for the Nationals last season, but was only able to amass 159 2/3 innings of work. At least he stayed healthy, which is more than can be said for many players on the major league roster. He also gave the Nationals 14 quality starts.

Over ten major league seasons, Perez is 73-82 with a career 4.46 ERA.

Perez' return will put him in the mix to battle for one of two open spots in the Nationals rotation. Scott Olsen, John Lannan and Daniel Cabrera would seem to have spots locked up, as would Shawn Hill, if he's healthy. The 31 year old Perez will have to battle with youngsters Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler and others to win a spot with the big league club.

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