© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

02/05/09 8:56 PM EST

Perez to return on Minor League deal

Left-hander receives spring invite, will compete for rotation spot

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have signed left-hander Odalis Perez to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Perez will compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

Last season, Perez, 31, played for Washington and exceeded expectations. He delivered 14 quality starts and had a respectable 4.34 ERA.

"[Perez] has done a very god job," manager Manny Acta said last September. "He has given us a lot of quality starts and the innings that we were hoping he would give us out of Spring Training. We think he could have easily won double-digits, almost 15 wins, with any type of help."

Perez made $850,000 in 2008, a huge pay cut from the $7.7 million he made while pitching for the Royals in '07.

General manager Jim Bowden was not available for comment.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.