- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

VIERA, Fla. | The Nationals have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran left-hander Oliver Perez, a club source confirmed Wednesday.

Perez was released by the Mets on Monday. His last act as a member of the organization was getting booed off the field at Digital Domain Park Saturday after allowing back-to-back home runs to Jeff Frazier and Brian Bixler, the first two batters he faced in a relief appearance against the Nationals.

Joining the Nationals, Perez will be reunited with pitching coordinator Spin Williams, who was the pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2004 when Perez was 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 239 strikeouts.

The Nationals will not have Perez in major league camp, a source said, hoping that Williams can help to get the once-formidable left-hander back on track.

Perez was 0-5 last year with the Mets and allowed nine earned runs in 9 2/3 innings of work this spring. A longtime starter, Perez was moved to the Mets’ bullpen last season where he pulled in a 6.80 ERA. In 2009 he was 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA.

The Mets are on the hook for almost all of Perez’s $12 million salary for this season. The Nationals would need to pay him only the major league minimum if he is on the major league team.

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