Odalis Perez, Longtime MLB Pitcher, Dead at 44 Following Accident

Odalis Perez, a longtime MLB pitcher who played for four different teams, died on Thursday night, according to ESPN. He was 44 years old. According to Perez's attorney Walin Batista, Perez died after an accident at his home in the Dominican Republic. He reportedly fell from a ladder while he was alone at his house. 

"Around 7 p.m., his brother Cristian Perez arrived at the house and found Odalis lying in the patio," Batista said. "We don't know yet the cause of his death, but everything seems to indicate Odalis slipped down a ladder. This is a tragedy."

Perez began his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves in 1998 and was wi the team for four seasons. In 2002, Perez joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as was there until 2006 when he was traded to the Kansas City Royals. Perez was with the Royals until the end of the 2007 season and signed with the Washington Nationals in 2008.

In 2009, Perez was set to return to the national but never reported to spring training. He agreed to a minor league contract but wanted a major league deal. "I thought it best and I prefer to sit in my house if the Nationals do not show more appreciation for my work," Perez said from Santo Domingo at the time, per ESPN. "Appreciate my work means to increase the value of the contract and guarantee it. I will not accept any minor league contracts with no safeguards. I instructed my agent to report my position to the Nationals."

Perez's best season was in 2002 when he posted a 15-10 record with 3.00 ERA for the Dodgers During that season, Perez was selected to his first and only All-Star Game. "The Los Angeles Dodgers mourn the passing of former pitcher and 2002 All-Star Odalis Pérez," the Dodgers said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

In his career, Perez posted a 73-82 record with a 4.46 ERA. He struck out 920 batters and had two career shutouts. "Odalis Pérez was our starting pitcher at our 1st game in Nats Park history," the Nationals said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace."