Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta has become the latest player to leave Sam and Seth Levinson's ACES agency, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. As he approaches free agency, Peralta will be represented by Diego Bentz of SFX.
Since being investigated by Major League Baseball in relation to the PED suspension of Melky Cabrera, ACES has seen several high-profile clients leave for other representation. It lost Nelson Cruz just before the Rangers outfielder -- like Peralta -- took a fifty-game suspension relating to the Biogenesis scandal. Other players, including Shane Victorino and Everth Cabrera (another Biogenesis suspension target), walked over the off-season.
Peralta, 31, had been enjoying one of the best years of his career before his suspension, posting a .305/.361/.461 slash line in 436 plate appearances and making his second All-Star game. The Tigers are reportedly still debating whether to bring Peralta back as a reserve in the post-season, but have no plans to bench recent acquisition Jose Iglesias if they do. (As Beck noted earlier today, Peralta could even see time in left field.)
In either event, Detroit seems set to move on with Iglesias as the everyday shortstop next season, making it likely that Peralta will find a new employer after the season. His new agency, SFX, also represents Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, Diamondbacks first bagger Paul Goldschmidt, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, and a long list of other ballplayers. It will be tasked with convincing clubs that the suspension was a one-time mistake and focusing on Peralta's strong campaign prior to his time off. While Peralta's value has unquestionably taken a hit, some organization will surely see a lot of potential upside in a low-risk deal for the veteran.