Updated Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Another key piece was added to the Mariners' pitching staff this weekend when veteran left-handed reliever Oliver Perez was re-signed Saturday to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.5 million.
The deal is also said to include $600,000 in performance bonuses and gives the Mariners some veteran stability they'd sought in a hard-throwing but largely youthful bullpen. Perez, 31, was called up midseason by the Mariners and found new life in a mid-90s fastball.
He finished the season with a 2.12 earned-run average in 33 relief outings, the ninth-best ERA in the American League for a reliever with at least 30 outings. Perez was a starter for several seasons with the Mets, Pirates and Padres, but said in an interview in September that he enjoyed his first year as a full-time reliever with Seattle because it got him in games more frequently.
"I like it because I get a chance to play every day," Perez said at the time. "I love to play the game. It's very exciting for me. I don't care whether we're winning or losing, for me it's the same thing. I love this game, so why not have fun? It's a job, but it's a game, too."
CBSSports.com first reported the contract details.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a release he was glad to have Perez back. The deal comes just one day after the team reached agreement on a two-year, $14 million contract with Japanese veteran starter Hisashi Iwakuma.
Like Perez, Iwakuma brought stability to a mostly youthful starting rotation. Zduriencik hopes Perez can do the same in a bullpen with a bunch of hard-throwing, younger arms.
"He did a very nice job in helping solidify our bullpen after his call-up last summer," Zduriencik said. "As a veteran left-hander and one that had adjusted very nicely to his new role, we are looking forward to his contributions as we go into the 2013 campaign."
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com.
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