The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: Free-agent LHP OIiver Perez close to multi-year deal with #DBacks.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 7, 2014
with Arizona Sports John Gambadoro agreeing on the deal, and adding:
Can confirm Dbacks adding Oliver Perez as left-handed reliever on 2-year deal— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 7, 2014
Perez made his debut in 2002 with the Padres, but is most well-known for a five-year, $45 million contract with the New York Mets from 2006-2010. And when I say "well-known", that should be clarified as "detested by Mets fans," since he was worth a whopping 0.9 bWAR over his time in the Big Apple, with an ERA+ of 90. However, after spending the entire 2011 season in the minors with Seattle, Perez had some success out of the Mariners' bullpen over the past two seasons, with a 3.16 ERA in 94 appearances for them.
The signing appears to be quite unexpected, considering it seemed like we were already over-stocked in the bullpen department. While the team was known to be looking for another left-hander to take to Australia, this would be a much longer-term deal than that. Joe Thatcher, the incumbent LOOGY received from San Diego in exchange for Ian Kennedy, would now appear to be at serious risk of being cut loose before Opening Day. Another possibility might be that Bronson Arroyo's back issue, results in Randall Delgado returning to the rotation, with Perez slotting in to the relief slot which would open up. However, that doesn't seem like a long-term solution either. Per Gambo:
Dbacks were not happy with Thatcher, Paterson or De La Rosa as their lefties in the pen so needed to make a move or go with all righty pen— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 7, 2014
Given Thatcher worked all of 9.1 innings for Arizona last season - admittedly, not very good ones - one kinda wonders why the team acquired him, or what apparently happened subsequently to sour them on Thatcher. They clearly thought enough of him at the end of the season to tender him a contract, eventually agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.375 million as recently as January 14. This may just be Towers acquiring bullpen depth, unwilling to rely on the likes of Ryan Rowland-Smith or Eury de la Rosa; however, it's hard to see how all these pieces are going to fit together at this point.
I think someone's going to be left without a seat, when the music stops at the end of this month.