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Perez Returns, Chatty As Ever
2005-01-10 16:57
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Some might argue that everything in the following press conference quote from Odalis Perez, as recorded by John Nadel of The Associated Press, is wrong (yep, including the seemingly carefree putdown before the compliment).

"(Jeff) Kent is not a great fielding second baseman, but he can hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs," Perez said.

Right or wrong, Perez comes across as very excited about his new contract with the Dodgers - which is probably the main point. Smiles, everyone, smiles.

"(Jose) Valentin is the same way," Perez continued. "We might not have as good a defense, but we're going to score some runs. If they can score some runs, it doesn't matter."

Perhaps more pertinent than Perez's seat-of-the-pants statistical analysis is the fact that, according to Nadel, Perez has less in the seat of his pants. He has already dropped 10 pounds - and isn't stopping there.

"I might lose about 10 more," he said. "I'm working hard. I have a personal trainer. I'm doing whatever it takes to come to spring training in the best shape of my life."

In passing, Nadel adds (without elaboration) that Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta "indicated a catcher will probably be added to the roster."

Update: Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has details on Perez's contract, and they're significant with regards to the 2005 payroll.

2005: $3 million
2005-06: $4.5 million signing bonus*
2006: $7.25 million
2007: $7.75 million
2008: $9 million or a $1.5 million buyout.
Total commitment: $24 million

* Gurnick writes that the signing bonus is "paid after this year." It's unclear whether that would fall on the 2005 or 2006 budget, though one presumes 2005 based on Perez's salary for the year. That being said, the delay gives the Dodgers a little bit of extra flexibility in terms of timing future deals.

Gurnick has much more from DePodesta, including a comment that "DePodesta said he hopes to sign (Eric) Gagne to a multiyear deal and avoid arbitration."

Meanwhile, Nadel's write-thru indicates that the Dodgers have committed a roster slot to journeyman catcher Paul Bako with a $650,000 contract, plus another $100,000 in possible performance bonuses.

Without going into any detail, Bako cannot hit. Like Brent Mayne did, Bako does his non-hitting from the left side.

Nadel adds that in 2006 and in 2007, Perez can earn $150,000 for pitching 185 innings and another $150,000 if he reaches 200 innings.

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