Alderson explains eating $18 million

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
10:31
AM ET
Sandy Alderson addressed reporters Monday regarding the release of Oliver Perez, three days after Luis Castillo also was let go.

The GM indicated Perez’s velocity, which hovered in the mid-80s mph, was not enough to be successful in the organization’s estimation.

“The velocity was not there. The command was not there,” Alderson said. “It wasn’t going to work in a starting role. It didn’t appear as if it were going to work in a relief role, at least anytime soon.”

Alderson said he had no regrets bringing Perez and Castillo to camp, rather than releasing them early in the winter.

“For a variety of reasons it was important to have them in camp,” Alderson said. “To start with, I didn’t want to do anything rash or reflexive given what I had heard about the situation here. And so I think it was important to bring them to camp, and then once brought to camp give them a legitimate opportunity. I think in both cases we tried to do that.”

In explaining Castillo's release, Alderson mentioned anticipated negative crowd reaction played at least some factor. Alderson said in Perez's case, the southpaw's production relative to the competition of other pitchers in camp was so inferior that there was little need to incorporate into the decision how Perez would be received by fans at Citi Field.

Alderson added that there was no consideration of even asking Perez if he would consider working in the minors.

Even though Alderson ate $18 million of his predecessor's contracts in the span of three days, and even though the money was spent whether Perez and Castillo played for the Mets or not, Alderson was asked if it was difficult to recommend eating those salaries. He said: "It wasn't totally irrelevant, but I fully understood based on baseball considerations if that was the decision we needed to make, we had the flexibility to do it."

As for Castillo signing a minor league deal with the Phillies, Alderson said: "It wasn't a surprise. It wasn't unanticipated. For obvious reasons, one of the questions you ask is, 'OK, are we prepared to see him sign with X?' -- whether that's Philadelphia or Florida or some other team."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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