Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: Oliver Perez's Excellent Bullpen Work Drawing Team's Attention

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Jul 10, 2013 02:28 PM EDT
Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors Oliver Perez
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Oliver Perez reacts after he gave up a two-run single to New York Yankees batter Raul Ibanez in the sixth inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine "

Yes, it's Oliver Perez, the former New York Met lefty who couldn't win a game back in 2010. However, MLB is salivating at Perez's numbers through the first half of the season in his second year working out of the Seattle Mariners' bullpen. The Atlanta Braves are one team in contention and they are hungry for help out of their bullpen. Why would Perez be such a great fit? The numbers tell the story. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, points out that the Braves are interested in Perez or the Chicago White Sox's Matt Thornton. Perez is only due $1.5 million in 2013 and will become a free agent the following year. Meanwhile, Thornton is a bit pricier since he's signed through 2014 and owed a total of $11.5 million in the next two seasons. Trading for Thornton might also cost more valuable prospects; prospects that the Braves will probably not want to let loose. 

As far as Perez's numbers, he would fit the bullpen in Atlanta very well. He has a 2-2 record with a 1.89 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched, recording 46 strikeouts. He's done well for himself in the small market in Seattle. In 2012, he had another solid season finishing with a 1-3 record accompanied by a 2.12 ERA. 

Here is the stat Braves fans should embrace. The team's relief pitching is already dominant, but there is no such thing as having too much quality in the bullpen. On the road, Perez's ERA is a miniscule 0.60. He's pitched 15 innings, allowing just one run and striking out 20 batters. The Braves road record is 23-25. With Perez's mid-90 fastball coming from the bullpen late in the games, this record will only improve. 

The Braves don't need a mega superstar to come out of the bullpen. They need a pitcher who can get outs. Their bullpen has a 2.61 ERA, the best in baseball. They have only allowed 72 runs and opponents are hitting just .213 against them. 

The Baltimore Orioles are another team interested in Perez's services as they too, could use somebody out of their pen. 

Would Braves fans mind giving the former Met, who has taken quite a beating, a chance to pitch for them?

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