As first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Oliver Perez has agreed to a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. The signing comes two days after the Mets parted ways with the president of the Rick Vaughn Fan Club. Should he succeed (>snicker<) at AAA-Syracuse, Perez will get the opportunity to join a staff that features such stalwarts as Jason Marquis (2-9, 6.60 ERA) and produced only one starter with an ERA under 4.65 (Livan Hernandez, who went 10-12 with a 3.66 ERA).
If the recently impeached El Perez-idente "earns" a spot with the Nationals, Mets fans won't have to wait very long to boo him at Citi Field, as Washington will be the Mets' opponent when Citi Field opens its doors for the 2011 season on April 8. Since the Mets are still paying Ollie $12 million this year (minus the amount Washington is paying him), they might finally get their money's worth if Perez comes into the game and pitches like his normal self.
With the signing of Perez, Washington will no longer have to worry about people ridiculing them for giving former Phillies' rightfielder Jayson Werth $126 million over seven years. They will now have something else to be ridiculed for.
The Phillies signed Luis Castillo to a minor league contract earlier this week. Now the Nationals have signed Oliver Perez to a similar deal. The Mets' castoffs are finding new employers for their services (or what passes for services) without leaving the division. Does that mean the Braves will be signing Victor Zambrano next? Do the Marlins have an offer on the table for Kaz Matsui?
The Mets may or may not improve in the standings this year, but it sure feels a lot sunnier in the clubhouse now that the dark clouds have lifted. Let the Phillies and Nationals deal with Castillo and Perez. Who knows? Maybe they're better equipped to weather the storm. But I wouldn't be surprised if they were forced to order extra galoshes at some point this year.