Rays To Sign Joel Peralta

The Rays have agreed to sign Joel Peralta for about $900K, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The Nationals non-tendered Peralta earlier in the month, after a strong 2010 campaign.

Peralta, 35 in March, posted a 2.02 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 49 innings of work for the Nationals in 2010. A late bloomer who didn't reach the major leagues until his age 29 season, Peralta has a 4.22 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 260 career relief appearances. He has always generated lots of fly balls and this year ranked fifth in fly ball rate (55.6%) among big league relievers with at least 40 innings pitched.

The Rays re-signed another 2010 non-tender, J.P. Howell, earlier in the week, but their bullpen figures to look considerably different next year. Joaquin Benoit and Randy Choate have already agreed to deals elsewhere and Rafael Soriano, Lance Cormier, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler and Chad Qualls and are all free agents.

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