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Ryan Perry owns a 4.07 ERA in 139 career big-league games.
The impetus of the trade, from the Nationals' perspective, might be the roster flexibility it will provide. Balester will be out of options in 2012 and thus can't be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers. Perry, meanwhile, has one option year remaining, allowing the Nationals to retain his rights even if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster.
Perry, 24, owns a 4.07 ERA in 149 appearances over the last three seasons with Detroit, but he's had trouble sticking in the big leagues because of consistency issues. Drafted by the Tigers only three years ago as the 21st overall pick, Perry reached the majors after only one minor-league season and only eight appearances at Class AAA.
With a fastball that averaged 94.1 mph this season, Perry will have a shot to make the Nationals' bullpen out of spring training as a middle