Diamondbacks Trade LHP Oliver Perez to Astros for Junior Garcia

By Johanna-Rosalye Luna
PHOENIX, AZ – The Diamondbacks announced Friday night the trade of left-hand pitcher Oliver Perez to the Houston Astros for left-hand pitcher Junior Garcia.

The Mexican native played two seasons for the Diamondbacks with a 2.98 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 87.2 innings pitched. In 2014, Perez had set the club record for left-hand relievers with 76 strikeouts. He was the ninth Mexican-born player to play for the team and ranks third on the all-time Mexican-born strikeout list with 1,337.

Acquired from Houston LHP Garcia, 19, has a 0.96 ERA, with a .201 OPS average and 26 strikeouts in a combined 9 games (6 starts). The Dominican left-hander signed with the Astros as a non-drafted free agent in 2012. In addition to the trade, on Saturday the Diamondbacks will purchase left-hand pitcher Keith Hessler from Triple-A Reno. Hessler, 26, has a 1.68 ERA, .197 OPS average, with 62 strikeouts (10.4 K’s per 9 IP), and will be making his Major League debut.

Perez, 33, mentioned the trade took him by surprise being that generally you expect to be traded before the July 31st trade deadline, “that’s when you expect these type of changes”. However,this is not his first time being traded; after being signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Padres in 1999,, Perez was traded the Pirates in 2003 with outfielders Jason Bay and Corey Stewart for outfielder Brian Giles. Then in 2006, Perez was traded to the Mets with right-hand pitcher Roberto Hernandez for outfielder Xavier Nady before landing in Arizona as a free agent in 2014.

Perez understands that this is part of the business and sees it as a good opportunity for himself and his family. He is ready to help the Astros in every opportunity he gets, as “they are in a good spot right now and I would love to help”.

On reflecting on his time in Arizona, he motioned that “it’s a really good organization, and I know they are going the right way”. He called Arizona his second home and hopes to one day return, and knows that the team will be in the playoffs next season and thanked the organization for the opportunity they gave him. Perez went on to say that he will miss teammates and knows that this part of the game, and that “you have to move forward and make the best of it with your new team”.

The news came after the conclusion of Friday nights game, where the Diamondbacks took the win over the Reds 2-0.

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