Washington Nationals: Predicting what their 12 free agents will do

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Brandon Kintzler
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Brandon Kintzler /
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Oliver Perez

When the Nats signed the left-handed reliever to a two-year deal prior to the 2016 season, it was a bit of an underwhelming acquisition. The Nats were reportedly interested in signing reliever Darren O’Day, but ended up with Perez.

While Perez was not great with the Nats, he certainly could have been worse. In two seasons, he pitched to a 4.56 ERA while primarily serving as a left-handed specialist.

Now a free agent, the Nats would be smart to let Perez walk. He is 36 years old, and pitchers typically do not fare well in their late-30’s. He also has not been great over the last few seasons, so it is very unlikely that he suddenly improves at age-36.

If Perez departs in free agency, the Nats should be fine. They also have Sammy Solis and Enny Romero as lefties in the bullpen, and can acquire a third if they’d like. At this point in his career, Perez is not an impactful reliever.

That’s not to say Perez’s career is over. He could be a solid acquisition for a rebuilding team, where he can serve as a mentor. Also, if he pitches well, he could potentially be used as a trade chip and contribute on a playoff-caliber team.

Wherever Perez pitches next season, it will likely not be in Washington. However, he would not be a bad option if he wanted to return on a minor league deal and serve as pitching depth.