PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez on a 2-year contract, according to D-backs Executive Vice President and General Manager Kevin Towers. Perez, a native of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, will wear No. 59. In a corresponding move to make room for Perez on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Santos Rodriguez was outrighted to Triple-A Reno.
Perez, 32, was 3-3 with 2 saves and a 3.74 ERA (22 ER in 53.0 IP) in a career-high 61 relief appearances for the Seattle Mariners in 2013. He limited opponents to a .249 average (50-for-201) with 26 walks and 74 strikeouts. His 12.57 strikeouts-per-9.0-innings ratio was sixth among American League relievers. He held opponents scoreless in 50 of his outings.
Over the last 2 seasons, he made 94 relief appearances for the Mariners and went 4-6 with 2 saves, a 3.16 ERA (29 ER in 82.2 IP) and a .247 opponents average with 36 walks and 98 strikeouts. His 10.67 strikeouts-per-9.0-innings ratio is seventh among all southpaw relievers since 2012.
Perez has pitched in parts of 11 seasons in the Majors for the San Diego Padres (2002-03), Pittsburgh Pirates (2003-06), New York Mets (2006-10) and Mariners (2012-13). In 300 career games (195 starts), he is 62-75 with 2 saves, a 4.53 ERA (601 ER in 1194.1 IP) and a .245 opponents average with 664 walks and 1,224 strikeouts. He began his career as a starting pitcher and in 195 career starts, went 58-67 with a 4.58 ERA (559 ER in 1097.2 IP).
He ranks among Mexico-born pitching leaders in Major League history in strikeouts (third, 1,224), innings (sixth, 1,194.1), starts (sixth, 195), wins (tied for ninth, 62) and games (16th, 300). He has pitched for Team Mexico in each of the 3 World Baseball Classic tournaments, appearing in 5 games (3 starts) and going 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA (7 ER in 11.0 IP). In 2013, he made 1 appearance and retired the lone batter he faced in Mexico's 5-2 win over Team USA on March 8 at Chase Field. In 2009, he started 2 games and went 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA (6 ER in 6.2 IP). In 2006, he pitched in 2 games (1 start) and tossed 4.0 scoreless innings.
Perez will become the ninth Mexican player in franchise history, joining Karim Garcia, Erubiel Durazo, Armando Reynoso, Oscar Villarreal, Edgar Gonzalez, Elmer Dessens, Dennys Reyes and Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez recently joined the D-backs broadcast team alongside Oscar Soria and Richard Saenz and that trio can be heard on KSUN La Mejor 1400 AM as well as six different radio stations throughout Sonora, Mexico as part of the club's Spanish-language radio network.
The D-backs have a long history with their neighbors to the South, having taken four goodwill trips to various cities around Mexico in the past year alone. The franchise has played exhibition games in Hermosillo on eight different occasions (1998-2001, 2003, 2008-10) and advised during the planning and construction of Estadio Sonora, the city's new ballpark which resembles the award-winning Spring Training home of the D-backs, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. In 2013, the D-backs hosted Team Mexico during the first round of the World Baseball Classic which included the highest attended game of the entire WBC (44,256) when Team USA faced Team Mexico.
Since the franchise's inception in 1998, no team in baseball has signed more players out of Mexico that have reached the Major Leagues than the D-backs.