Oliver Perez signs a two-year deal with the Nationals

The Washington Nationals have signed free agent pitcher Oliver Perez. He had agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract.

The veteran journeyman has announced around with now his seventh team since entering the big leagues in 2002. Perez will be a bullpen option for new Nationals manager Dusty Baker.

He has made 232 relief appearances since his last MLB start with the New York Mets in 2010. That season, he went 0-5 with seven starts and a 6.80 ERA in 46 1/3 innings before being demoted to the bullpen.

He comes to the Washington from the American League with the Houston Astros and the National League with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his lone season with the Astros, he was 0-3 with 6.75 ERA in 12 innings.

With the Diamondbacks, he was 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings. Combined, he was 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 41 innings.

Perez signing helps general manager Mike Rizzo as he works to rebuild the bullpen. Their bullpen after they acquired Jonathan Papelpon from the Philadelphia Phillies, they imploded down the stretch, which cost the team any hopes of making the playoffs.

The 13-year veteran has a career 4.44 ERA, including a 4.51 ERA in the National League. However, he has just a 3.57 ERA since becoming a full-time reliever in 2012.

With the Nationals, he’s now the team’s second left-handed pitcher, as he joins Felipe Rivero. With these left-handers, it gives Baker a better chance to match-up with opposing lineups when he needs a situational left-hander.

Perez allowed a .185 batting average against left-handers last season. He’ll more than likely be the early situational pitcher, while Rivero will be saved for the latter part of games.

His signing is expected to be the first of many as Rizzo goes to work to sign bullpen depth. The team could improve their bullpen significantly should they acquire set-up man Darren O’Day, who is a free agent and is expected to make a decision between the Nationals and his current team, the Baltimore Orioles, within the next week.

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