VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals signed left-hander Oliver Perez to a Minor League contract Wednesday afternoon, according to two baseball sources.
The news comes four days after Perez was hit hard by the Nationals during a 7-4 loss to the Mets. In that game, Perez allowed back-to-back homers to two career Minor Leaguers -- Jeff Frazier and Brian Bixler. New York gave Perez his unconditional release Monday.
The Nationals look at this transaction as a win-win situation. They are only paying Perez the league minimum salary, which is $414,000, while the Mets will pay him the remainer of the $12 million owed to him in the final year of his contract.
Perez will report to Washington's Minor League camp Thursday and work with pitching coordinator Spin Williams. The two worked together with the Pirates, when Williams was the pitching coach. It is unlikely Perez will start the season with the Major League team.
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During his career, Perez is 58-69 with a 4.63 ERA in 206 games. In the nine seasons he has pitched in the big leagues, Perez has had only three good seasons -- one with the Pirates and two with the Mets. His best season was in 2004, when he was with Pittsburgh, going 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 239 strikeouts.
After two quality seasons in New York, Perez received a three-year extension from the Mets worth $36 million. But Perez never lived up to the contract. In the last two seasons, Perez won a combined three games and had an ERA over 6.00.
This spring, the Mets tried to make him a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, but that plan backfired as he allowed nine earned runs in 9 2/3 innings.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.