The Yankees are now expressing interest in Jhonny Peralta, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Peralta would provide the Yankees with insurance should Alex Rodriguez miss significant time with a suspension or in the event of a Derek Jeter injury. He has extensive big league experience at both shortstop and third base.
Peralta, 31, dealt with a suspension of his own this summer for his involvement with the Biogenesis PED clinic, but he's served his 50-game ban and doesn't face risk of further penalty. Peralta slashed .303/.358/.457 with 11 homers in 448 plate appearances this season, and one would think a move from the spacious Comerica Park in Detroit to the cozy Yankee Stadium in the Bronx could help to boost his power numbers even further.
Given the lack of quality shortstop options on the market — Stephen Drew is the only other clear-cut starting option — as well as the lack of third basemen, Peralta appears poised to sign at least a three-year deal. In my free agent profile on the ACES client, I pegged him for three years and $36MM, but since that time reports have surfaced that he's looking to top three years and $45MM. A fourth year doesn't appear to be out of the question for Peralta, though it remains to be seen how comfortable teams will be in approaching that level of years and dollars. One key advantage for Peralta over Drew is that he did not receive a qualifying offer and therefore will not require draft pick forfeiture for his new team.
To this point, Peralta has been most heavily linked to the Mets, though the Mariners have been mentioned as a potential suitor as well. The Cardinals and Pirates are two other teams with a clear need at shortstop. The Yankees, of course, have already added to their infield depth by agreeing to sign Brendan Ryan earlier today.