John J Perricone reports that Neifi Perez must be paid a minimum of $3.28 M for 2003 by the Giants, who claimed him on waivers yesterday. He made $4.1 M in 2002 and cannot have his pay cut more than 20%.
Also, if the Giants had waited until after he cleared waivers, then they could have signed him as a free-agent at any price above league minimum. Since the only team that could have claimed him after the Giants was the Angels (teams access the waiver wire in reverse order according to their finish this past season), they could have easily obtained him after he cleared waivers. Maybe they were afraid of the extravagant offers that were awaiting Perez once he became a free agent.
This cannot be viewed as anything but a tactical error by GM Brian Sabean.