One of the big names from the Brian Giles trade has announced that he will step away from baseball after this year.
Reports surfaced Monday afternoon that Oliver Perez, who pitched for the Pirates from 2003 to 2006, plans to retire from baseball after the conclusion of the 2022 season with the Mexican League’s Toros de Tijuana.
The southpaw first appeared in the Major Leagues in 2002 as a member of the San Diego Padres, where he went 4-5 with a 3.50 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .218 batting average.
He was traded to Pittsburgh, along with Pirates great Jason Bay, prior to the 2003 trade deadline, but didn’t see as much success as he, or the fans, would have liked.
His best year came in 2004, where he racked up a 12-10 record with a 2.98 ERA, complimented by a four-seam fastball that reached upwards of 98 mph., and a slider with tremendous break. In addition, Perez struck out more than 29 percent of opponents, falling just behind Randy Johnson and Johan Santana across the league, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
This, however, would be the only notable year he’d have with the Pirates, as from 2005 to the time he was traded in 2006, Perez’s ERA ballooned to a 5.85 and 6.63 respectively.
He was traded to the New York Mets, along with relief pitcher Roberto Hernandez, for outfielder Xavier Nady, and would become a journeyman throughout the latter part of his career.
He transitioned from starter to reliever in 2010 and would carry on the reliever title throughout the remainder of his career.
His best line came during the 2018 season, where he kept an ERA of 1.39 over 51 games as part of the Cleveland Indians (Guardians) bullpen, and held hitters to a .155 average – a career high.
Perez may not have had a major impact on the Pirates during the mid-2000s, but he did bring LOTS OF HEAT.
Stats used via MLB, MLB Trade Rumors.