- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2009


VIERA, Fla. — Unable to contact him for more than a week, the Nationals gave disgruntled pitcher Odalis Perez his unconditional release Monday.

The move came 18 days after Perez agreed to a nonguaranteed, minor league contract that would have been worth $850,000 had he made the big league roster and a week after the 31-year-old left-hander announced he was holding out unless he got a better deal.

Sunday was the mandatory reporting date for all major league players. When Perez failed to show up at Space Coast Stadium, the Nationals attempted to contact him one last time. Unable to get a response, the club cut him loose.

“We left messages yesterday for his agent and left messages for him,” general manager Jim Bowden said Monday. “I left messages again this morning. They’ve made their point really clear. … Obviously, we’re disappointed it played out for us this way, but at the same time we need to turn the page. We’ve got a lot of pitchers in camp here that are committed to helping us win. And we want players who want to be here.”

Perez, Washington’s Opening Night starter last season, went 7-12 with a 4.34 ERA in 30 starts. He has said he plans to pitch for his native Dominican Republic in next month’s World Baseball Classic.


First baseman Dmitri Young could miss a day or two with a bruised left finger after getting hit by a pitch during Sunday’s workout.

Young was preparing to bunt when a pitch caught him on the left ring finger. He missed Monday’s workout, but X-rays were negative, and he was diagnosed with a contusion. His status is day-to-day.

The 35-year-old is attempting to make the club after being removed from the 40-man roster. Young, the NL comeback player of the year in 2007, is a nonroster invitee to spring training even though he’s in the final year of a contract that guarantees him $5 million this season.

Mark Zuckerman


Odalis Perez [DOWN]

Was nice knowing you

More allegations [DOWN]

They have become a daily ritual

Actual baseball [DOWN]

Is it even taking place here this spring?



Innings Washington starters will pitch the first time through the rotation in exhibition play.


Washington: Sunny, 41 degrees

Viera: Mostly sunny, 69 degrees


Tuesday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Wednesday: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1 p.m.

Thursday: vs. Tigers in Viera, 1 p.m.

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