With roughly two weeks left until the regular season begins, pretty much all of the impact free agents are now off the board. Even though the offseason moved slower than molasses, players eventually found homes, even if they were for reduced rates.
One of the lone remaining impact player who remains unsigned is left handed starting pitcher Odalis Perez. Strangely enough, Perez did agree to a minor league contract in the beginning of February with the Washington Nationals, but apparently Perez was pissed that the contract was not guaranteed, so he held out. Subsequently, the Nationals released Perez.
One would figure that Perez would have a range of suitors vying for his services immediately after his release in early March. But now two weeks after his release, there has been little to no news on the Odalis Perez front.
What gives? Could it be possible that Perez's antics towards the Nationals have shied teams away from him?
I doubt it. Even though Perez looks terrible for holding out and forcing his release, more than likely, Perez is having a tough time finding a team willing to offer him a major league deal to his liking. Perez put up solid numbers last year with the lowly Nationals by going 7-12 with a 4.34 ERA while striking out 119 in 158 IP. Not overwhelming numbers, but certainly good enough for Perez to be someone's fourth starter.
I anticipate that some team will get desperate towards the end of spring training and ultimately cave in and sign Perez. Even with Pedro Martinez still on the market, Perez remains the best starting pitcher out there, despite his strange behavior this offseason.
Houston would be a wonderful fit for Perez, but will GM Ed Wade get the OK to spend the needed dough to sign Perez? Doubtful.
Any other potential suitors?