Oliver Perez: It's Better to Stay in Majors
Perez, though, told FanHouse before Tuesday's game in San Diego that he still believes it's better for him to stay with the Mets.
"It's a possibility," Perez said of going to the minors, "but you have the pitching coaches here. I know I feel good with everything I'm doing here. I'm going to keep working. I know it's more pressure here. You have to be a man."
If Perez maintains his stance, New Yorkers will boo him when he next pitches there -- perhaps relentlessly. Friday is when the Mets next play at home, so the pressure to resolve the issue could increase as the date approaches.
Perez (0-3) made no excuses for his struggles, although he confirmed that he warmed up three times during Monday's chaotic game and, as a result, had less stamina when he eventually faced the Padres. Reaching 91 miles per hour, Perez worked 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs in New York's 18-6 defeat.
The left-hander said he is fully recovered from offseason surgery on his right knee. Nothing relating to the injury led to any delivery flaws, he added, or contributed to the struggles that moved him to the bullpen two weeks ago.
"I feel good," he said. "I know everything is not going my way.I don't feel any pain in the knee."
Perez reiterated that the chance to work with pitching coach Dan Warthen and bullpen coach Randy Niemann is driving his decision. "This is the best place for me," he said.
However, the New York Post quoted two anonymous players who said Perez needs to go to the minors.
Rest assured, other clubs are watching to see whether Perez, 28, becomes available should the Mets decide to eat the bulk of his remaining salary.
Among those clubs is the Padres, who signed Perez out of Mexico when he was 16. Admired by Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley, who worked with him for several years, Perez was in San Diego's organization from 1999 through August 2003. Perez, who lives in Arizona, spoke highly of San Diego and the Padres on Tuesday, but said New York is still the place for him.
Pitcher Brett Myers faced a similar situation with the Phillies in 2008. After refusing to go the minors, Myers changed his mind and accepted a demotion.
Perez is in the second year of a three-year contract. His salary is $12 million this year and again next year.