Sunday, February 22, 2009
Perez could face disciplinary action
VIERA, Fla. -- Left-hander Odalis Perez was a no-show at the Washington Nationals' training camp Sunday, the last day for players to report without facing the possibility of disciplinary action.
Perez has expressed his dissatisfaction with his contract since he gave his agent the OK to sign a non-guaranteed minor league deal with Washington on Feb. 5 that would pay him $850,000 if he makes the team, the same stipulation he faced last year.
General manager Jim Bowden hasn't yet spoken with Perez, and doesn't know if he'll show.
"He's not returned my calls, he's not returned [manager] Manny's [Acta] calls and he hasn't returned his agent's calls, so we're waiting to hear back from him," Bowden said. "We're looking at all of our options. We're taking the position that we have an agreement with the player and we're expecting the player to honor the agreement. But we'd like to talk to him first, so we're going to wait until he calls us back and then address the other options at that point."
Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. EST is the mandatory reporting date for players. After that time, teams can determine what kind of action, if any, they will pursue for a player who does not report.
Despite Perez's absence, Bowden still expects the left-hander to honor his contract.
"He had a chance to sign with any of the 30 teams, and he made an agreement with us," Bowden said. "He gave his agent authority to close the deal, and the agent signed off on his behalf, and agreed to the deal, and we're expecting him to honor it. He doesn't have to like it, but he agreed to it, so he should honor it."
Perez was 7-12 with a 4.34 ERA in 30 starts last season.
Right-hander Pitcher Jorge Sosa also has not arrived at Washington's camp, but he's having visa problems and is expected to arrive Wednesday.
"Obviously he's not feeling happy about it because he's coming to a new team and wants to make a good impression," Acta said. "I just got off the phone with his agent and he's going to be here on Wednesday.
"Sosa just pitched about two weeks ago in the Caribbean World Series, so he's ready to go."
The right-hander was suspended for 50 games last season after testing positive for an amphetamine -- considered a performance-enhancing substance -- while pitching for Triple-A Tacoma in the Mariners organization. The Nationals signed Sosa to a minor league contract on Dec. 18.
Notes Acta named pitchers for the first six games of the spring, starting Wednesday against the Astros in Kissimmee. John Lannan will get the start Wednesday, followed by Collin Balester, Shawn Hill, Daniel Cabrera, Scott Olsen and Josh Towers in an exhibition against the Italian team the following Tuesday. ... Cabrera opted not to pitch for the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team, but it had little to do with his pitching arm. Cabrera spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League, but finds himself needing a new skill if he hopes to help his team in other ways in the National League. "He felt that he really needed to work a lot on bunting and swinging the bat," Acta said. "We're going to work with him as hard as we can and as often as we can. But that's the least of my worries here, how many hits Cabrera is going to get, or how good of a hitter he's going to become."