Dodgers send Perez to KC for Dessens

Dodgers get Dessens from KC

LOS ANGELES -- Last summer, Elmer Dessens was put in the Dodgers' bullpen as Odalis Perez returned from the disabled list. This year, another Perez move has landed Dessens back in the Dodgers bullpen.

Dessens, who pitched in Los Angeles in 2004 and 2005, was brought back in a deal on Tuesday that sent Perez, two prospects and cash considerations to Kansas City.

The 35-year-old Dessens appeared in 43 games for the Royals this season, posting a 4.50 ERA in 54 innings and holding left-handed batters to a .238 average. The Mexico native posted a 3.56 ERA last season, when he had seven starts with the Dodgers before being moved into the bullpen. In 2004, he went 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 12 games.

"Elmer is a versatile pitcher who has had success throughout his career out of the bullpen," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "We expect him to help bolster our pitching staff."

Meanwhile, Los Angeles found a suitor for Perez, an uncomfortable presence in the clubhouse and a disappointment on the field. Colleti said that the trade would not have occurred without cash considerations.

Perez's contract was around $7.25 million this year and $7.75 million next year. The starter-turned-reliever went 4-4 with a 6.83 ERA in 20 appearances with the Dodgers this season. Thus, the move was not the easiest one for Colletti.

"If it was, this would have happened a while ago," Colletti said. "Moving him was something we needed to do, for all concerned, including him."

The Dodgers said that they would save around $3 million over the term of the contract. Colletti also said that money has not been an issue as next Monday's non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

In addition to Perez, Kansas City received Minor League right-handers Blake Johnson and Julio Pimentel. Johnson, 21, went 4-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 20 appearances at Class A Vero Beach. Colletti said that Johnson has some upside, and though he is probably still three years from reaching the Majors, could develop into a back-end starter or a long reliever.

Pimentel, also 21, went 3-8 with a 5.69 ERA in 30 appearances at Class A Vero Beach.

On July 13, Perez came out of the bullpen and gave up a game-winning home run to Albert Pujols in St. Louis. After the game, the left-hander expressed frustration about his season.

"If I've done something wrong, let me know," he said. "Tell me -- I want to know. I've been treated like trash."

Perez also said that he expected to have more time on the mound to find out what was wrong with his pitching. Afterward, the Dodgers spoke to Perez and stated that they would not trade him.

In 2004, the Dodgers signed Perez to an eyebrow-raising three-year, $24 million contract. The organization attempted to trade him last winter, but the almost $16 million left in his contract made a move difficult.

"The contract he signed a year or so back, you try to make it work," Colletti said. "Obviously, we weren't able to. You try to make the best of the situation, try to get the player to produce at a level you think he's capable of. ... At the same time, you have to try do what's best for club."

Perez came to Los Angles in 2002. His best season was his first, when he went 15-10 with a 3.00 ERA. The 29-year-old was injured early last season, and he certainly wasn't at his best this season, either. Perez started five games in April before being demoted to the bullpen in May. His only quality start was on April 15, when he pitched seven innings and allowed one run. Perez gave up six runs and 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings in his last start.

Colletti, who was with the Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas when reached, had yet to speak with Perez following the trade announcement. He did speak to the hurler's agent, who noted that Perez was aware of the trade.

Elizabeth Aguilar is an associate reporter with This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.