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02/19/2008 1:32 PM ET
Nationals agree to terms on Minor League contract with lefthander Odalis Perez
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The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed minor-league contract with left-handed pitcher Odalis Perez. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Perez is 66-70 with a 4.47 ERA (584 ER/1175.1 IP) in 222 games (191 starts) spanning nine big league seasons with Kansas City (2006-07), Los Angeles-NL (2002-06) and Atlanta (1998-01). Last season, Perez finished 8-11 with a 5.57 ERA in 27 starts for the Royals in the rugged American League Central. His eight wins in 2007 not only tied for ninth among AL starting pitchers, they also matched Jon Rauch, who led Washington in wins despite pitching exclusively out of the bullpen.

By signing with Washington, Perez hopes to return to the National League, where from 1998-2006, he went 56-55 with a 4.24 ERA (457 ER/971.0 IP) in 184 games (153 starts) for the Dodgers and Braves.

Perez, who represented the Dodgers in the 2002 All-Star Game, has twice ranked among the NL's top 10 in ERA (2002, 2004) and has averaged over 160.0 innings in six seasons beginning in 2002. The 31 year-old brings post-season experience to the Nationals' clubhouse, as he pitched in October for both the Braves in 1998 and Dodgers in 2004.

Perez's career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.4/1 (801 strikeouts, 333 walks) speaks to his rare blend of power and control. In his best three seasons from 2002-04, Perez walked just 1.9 batters per 9.0 innings pitched en route to going 34-28 with a 3.55 ERA in 93 starts. In those same three seasons, he averaged over 200.0 innings pitched.

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