Oliver Perez's horrible contract expires at the end of the year, but might his days as a Met come to an end far sooner than that? As in, today-sooner? Maybe, according to the Daily News at least. Perez, who is fighting for a spot on the team — you'll notice his name missing from this projected Opening Day roster — had a dreadful outing in his first Spring Training appearance Sunday, allowing four hits, three walks, and four runs in just two innings of work. Today, he'll get another, perhaps final, chance.
Here's Andy Martino, writing in the News:
Two major league sources familiar with the Mets' thinking believe that the team is close to giving up on the lefthander, and could finally release him if his performance against the Cardinals does not show significant improvement over Sunday's two-inning, four-run disappointment. The game will be on SNY at 1 p.m.
Of course, not everyone agrees that the Oliver Perez era might end today: Rich Coutinho of MetsBlog thinks the Mets' lack of left-handed options means they'll give Perez another look, and Terry Collins has said that he's "quite sure" he'll get another chance after today. Of course, it might just be a matter of time until the Mets let go of Perez — whose fastball touched 86 mph just once Sunday and otherwise didn't exceed 84 mph — even though they owe him $12 million for this year. Perez might technically be pitching for his job today, but considering how little he contributed last year — and how much velocity he's apparently lost on his fastball — it may well be too late already.