A longtime left-hander out of the bullpen known as Oliver Perez will retire following the 2022 season. Only, in 2022, he will be playing in Mexico, his home country. Perez has been playing pro baseball since 1999 when he signed an amateur contract with the San Diego Padres.
Originally, he was a starter, mainly with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 2000s. After struggling with control and command issues, he was moved to the bullpen in 2010, where he would stay until the end of his career. From 2014-15, he pitched for the Diamondbacks. Over his 116 games, 87.2 innings, he pitched to a 2.98 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 131 ERA+, going 5-5 and allowing 75 hits, 35 walks, and striking out a whopping 113.
Most recently, Perez became best known as the longtime reliable lefty out of Cleveland's bullpen. He pitched for them for the past 4 years, tied with the Pirates for his 2nd longest stint in one place. Oliver was a lefty-specialist, although he could easily get righties out too. Mainly though, he would be used against the left-handers.
With the adoption of the three-batter minimum rule for bullpen arms, it made a hard job even harder for an elder Perez. Starting with 2012, Pérez posted a 3.42 ERA over 490 relief appearances (350 innings). To showcase his dominance against lefty batters, he held them to a cumulative .229/.300/.337 batting line.
Over his entire 19-year MLB career, Oliver Perez experienced nearly all of it. He went 73-93 with a 4.34 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 96 ERA+, pitched 1,461.2 innings, and appeared in 696 games. Over that time period, he allowed 1,328 hits, 705 earned runs, 761 walks, and struck out 1,545 batters. During his career, he played with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians (now Guardians), Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners. He accumulated 10.8 WAR and made nearly 53 million dollars.
That's not bad for 20 or so years playing baseball. It's been an honor to watch you pitch Oliver Perez and good luck on your final season down in Mexico with the Toros de Tijuana! Congrats on your well-deserved retirement!
May the Force be with you, Oliver Perez...