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Perez was released Monday by the Mets, who will pay his entire $12 million salary this season. If he reaches the majors, the Nationals would be responsible only for a pro-rated portion of the major-league minimum salary of $414,000.
He'll report to minor-league camp to work with pitching coordinator Spin Williams, his former pitching coach in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the Nationals claimed left-hander Lee Hyde off waivers from the Braves, adding minor-league relief help. Hyde, 26, went 4-6 with a 3.41 ERA and eight saves in 51 combined appearances between Class AA Mississippi and Class AAA Gwinnett last season. He's been optioned to Class AAA Syracuse.
To make room for Hyde on the 40-man roster, the Nationals officially placed Stephen Strasburg on the 60-day DL.