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Jhonny Peralta Rumors
5:10pm: Pending a physical, the deal is now official, USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets.
3:31pm: Heyman tweets the contract is worth $53MM.
12:16pm: The Cardinals have reached agreement with Jhonny Peralta on a deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). It'll be a four-year contract worth a little more than $52MM, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
Peralta, 31, is coming off a solid .303/.358/.457 season but his value took a hit thanks to his 50-game suspension for involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal. For the Cardinals, Peralta represents a very significant offensive upgrade over shortstop Pete Kozma, even if he looks more like his 2012 self (.239/.305/.384) than '13.
A report late last week indicated that Peralta was seeking a four-year pact in the $56-75MM range. Meanwhile, three GMs told Peter Gammons that Peralta's reps were hinting to teams that they had a four-year, $52MM offer in hand. This weekend, that team has been told that they're "not even in [the] game," according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
For his career, Peralta owns a .268/.330/.425 slash line over eleven seasons with the Indians and Tigers. The veteran's -0.4 career UZR/150 isn't terribly impressive, but the metric shows that he has been playing much better defense at the shortstop position over the last three seasons.
Peralta shows a slight platoon split, but he's been able to hold his own against right-handed pitching throughout his career, slashing .270/.326/.416. In 2013, he hit righties at a .282/.338/.412 clip. He has enough bat against both right-handers and left-handers to be an everyday player.
The veteran also offers solid versatily with experience at third base and some reps in left field this past season. The Orioles were said to be among the teams with interest in Peralta as an outfielder, but he'll be slotted at shortstop for the Cardinals.
Peralta is represented by SFX, according to the MLBTR Agency Database.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported that the two sides were close to an agreement.
- Peralta was asking interested teams for a five-year, $75MM deal, but accepted less from the Cardinals because he wanted to play in St. Louis, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes tweets not many people predicted this kind of contract for Peralta and Stephen Drew should do better even though he's tied to draft pick compensation and is down a suitor.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com writes in an Insider Only post (subscription required) the move could work out in the short term, but Peralta isn't the type of player he would want to commit to for four years.
- The Cardinals explored trade talks with the Diamondbacks and Angels before settling on Peralta, tweets USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
- The Cardinals used their payroll flexibility to acquire Peralta and were going to have to overpay anyway to obtain a much-needed shortstop either financially in free agency or in prospects on the trade market, opines the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz.
- Within the same article, Miklasz offers six reasons why the Cardinals preferred Peralta over Drew.
- The lack of draft pick compensation helped fueled Peralta's market, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Feinsand, in a second tweet, isn't surprised Peralta was able to net such a lucrative deal despite being suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis affair citing the two-year, $16MM pact the Blue Jays gave Melky Cabrera last offseason after his 50-game PED suspension in 2012.
- Diamondbacks reliever (and union representative) Brad Ziegler was critical of rewarding a player suspended for PED use with such a contract. "It pays to cheat…Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use. People really don't understand how this works. We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it's not. So we are working on it again." (Twitter links)
- Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio wonders if the Cardinals will play Peralta at third base, keep Matt Carpenter at second base, and trade Kolten Wong for a better overall shortstop (via Twitter).
- This type of free agent acquisition is not typical for the Cardinals, according to ESPN.com's Mark Simon.
- Steven Goldman of SBNation.com compares the Cardinals' signing of Peralta with the Yankees' signing of Brian McCann: a massive upgrade on the incumbent over the short term with a hazier outlook over the long run.
- On its face, Fangraphs' Eno Sarris sees this as a perfect signing for the Cardinals.
We just wrapped up the early reactions to today's biggest news out of the National League Central, but there are some other notes from the division that are worth a look:
- Though the Cardinals talked about acquiring Erick Aybar along with David Freese, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports via Twitter, that does not mean that a second deal is on the horizon. To the contrary, Goold says that the Cards do not expect to continue discussions about bringing Aybar in from the Angels, having realized that the Halos will demand a live, young arm even if Aybar's $25.5MM remaining salary is absorbed by a trade partner.
- A rival executive believes that St. Louis is in on Jhonny Peralta, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, and the Freese trade makes sense in that respect. That being said, Morosi says in another tweet that he has not heard whether St. Louis would go to four years for Peralta.
- Meanwhile, one must wonder whether the addition of Bourjos takes the Cardinals completely out of the running to sign another of the club's recent post-season heroes: Carlos Beltran. This is my speculation, but with top prospect Oscar Taveras knocking on the door, Allen Craig warranting time in right field to give Matt Adams at-bats at first, and Jon Jay still in the fold, a return for Beltran might require another trade to make sense at this point.
- Another trade went down today from the division, with the Brewers shipping out reliever Burke Badenhop to the Red Sox in exchange for 20-year-old lefty Luis Ortega. Baseball America breaks down the players involved, explaining that Ortega is a longshot to make the bigs and profiles as a reliever. The Brew Crew will shed an estimated $2.1MM arbitration salary in the deal, however.
- After shedding Badenhop from the pen, Milwaukee is not hot on the trail of any new relievers, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. As MLBTR's Ed Creech explained in his offseason outlook for the Brewers, the team's pen was hardly the problem last year, and seems to be in good shape save the possible addition of another veteran.
6:53pm: Peralta's representatives are indicating to teams that he already has four years and $52MM "in hand," three general managers told Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com (Twitter link).
4:32pm: Jhonny Peralta's asking price has been said to be significant, but to this point, reports have only indicated that he's seeking "much more than $45MM." Joel Sherman of the New York Post sheds some light on his demands, reporting that he's seeking something in the four-year $56MM to five-year, $75MM range (Twitter link).
That asking price is sure to induce sticker shock to front offices and fans alike, as most had pegged Peralta for something like half that. For example, the Mets reportedly had hoped to land Peralta on a two-year deal. In my free agent profile for Peralta, I pegged him at $36M on a three-year deal.
Peralta and agent Fern Cuza of SFX do have some leverage on their side, as he's the only notable free agent shortstop not tied to draft pick compensation and the third base market is even more bleak. He's coming off a solid .303/.358/.457 season but also served a 50-game suspension for involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal.
As Sherman notes, the Mets and Yankees are interested, but not at that price. The Mets have already met with Peralta, as have the Mariners. Earlier today, it was reported that the Orioles have some interest in Peralta as a left fielder.
Jhonny Peralta appears to be receiving a good amount of interest out of the AL East as the Orioles now have interest in him in addition to the Yankees, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The O's like Peralta as a left fielder whereas the Yankees, presumably, view Peralta as insurance at shortstop and third base.
Peralta won't come cheap – teams like the Mets expected the former Tigers veteran to command a two-year deal, but he's currently seeking a three-year, $45MM+ pact. It may seem like a lofty goal for a player who missed 50 games due to ties to the Biogenesis scandal last season, but because Peralta offers a solid bat at a typically light-hitting postiion, he came in at No. 21 on Tim's Top 50 Free Agents list for this winter. However, it remains to be seen if the O's value him enough at left field to outbid one of the several clubs interested in using him at his natural position.
Peralta slashed .303/.358/.457 with 11 homers in 448 plate appearances for the Tigers in 2013. He picked up some limited experience in left field in the final three games of the regular season and in the playoffs. The temporary move to the outfield was necessitated by the Tigers' acquisition of Jose Iglesias to fill the void at shortstop when Peralta was suspended.
Peralta wouldn't have to serve as a left fielder for the duration of his entire contract were he to theoretically sign with the O's; shortstop J.J. Hardy is a free agent after the 2014 campaign, so Baltimore could use Manny Machado at third or short and Peralta at the other position in 2015 and beyond.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
SATURDAY, 10:19pm: The Cardinals are close to a deal with Jhonny Peralta, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Peralta is expected to receive four years in the deal, a source tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). However, the Cardinals have yet to confirm that an agreement is in place, Morosi adds in a second tweet.
Peralta, 31, is coming off a solid .303/.358/.457 season but his value took a hit thanks to his 50-game suspension for involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal. For the Cardinals, Peralta represents a very significant offensive upgrade over shortstop Pete Kozma, even if he looks more like his 2012 self (.239/.305/.384) than ’13.
A report late last week indicated that Peralta was seeking a four-year pact in the $56-75MM range. Meanwhile, three GMs told Peter Gammons that Peralta’s reps were hinting to teams that they had a four-year, $52MM offer in hand. This weekend, that team has been told that they’re “not even in [the] game,” according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
For his career, Peralta owns a .268/.330/.425 slash line over eleven seasons with the Indians and Tigers. The veteran’s -0.4 career UZR/150 isn’t terribly impressive, but the metric shows that he has been playing much better defense at the shortstop position over the last three seasons.
Peralta is represented by SFX, according to the MLBTR Agency Database.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Mets are currently dealing with sticker shock when looking at free agent demands, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. One example, says Puma, is Jhonny Peralta, whom the Mets initially believed they could land on a two-year deal. Peralta, however, is said to be seeking more than $45MM on at least a three-year deal. Here's more out of the Big Apple…
- The Mets are more interested in Phil Hughes than they are Bronson Arroyo, Puma tweets. That would make sense if they're unhappy with free agent prices, as Arroyo figures to command a healthy two-year deal at minimum and could get to three years.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the 2014 payroll will not be lower than the 2013 mark of $87MM, according to Newsday's Marc Carig (on Twitter).
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees are interested in Joe Nathan but are addressing their more pressing needs first, such as their pursuit of Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann.
Jay Z may claim that he "made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can," but the rap icon's high profile won't play any part in what the Yankees offer his Roc Nation Sports client Robinson Cano, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports. “The New York Yankees value Robinson as a great baseball player and appreciate his value on the field. But any value that’s added with Jay Z isn’t added to the equation,” a source tells Martin. Here's the latest news from the Bronx…
- Cano's original 10-year, $310MM demands haven't changed, ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand reports. Cano and his representatives are supposed to meet this week, with Marchand saying that the Yankees are looking for a deal in the $190-$210MM range for the star second baseman. Earlier reports suggested that Cano's demands had changed, and I would imagine his number will lower simply because no other team could (or would) come close to that $300MM mark.
- Also from Marchand, he hears from a source that the MLB/NPB dispute over the posting system will be settled and Masahiro Tanaka will be posted before the end of December.
- Alex Rodriguez's drawn-out suspension appeal and the possibility that his salary could come off the Yankees' books for 2014 will likely delay the free agent market. "A-Rod could slow everything down," a baseball official told Marchard. "Players always want the Yankees involved and the threat of them having extra money is leverage they probably will want to use."
- The Yankees, meanwhile, are hoping to get Rodriguez's situation resolved as soon as possible. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post outlines the latest in the A-Rod appeal hearings, which resumed today.
- The Yankees are interested in bringing back Raul Ibanez to serve as the designated hitter against righty pitchers, according to George A. King III and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Ibanez played for the Yankees in 2012 and "grew impatient waiting" for a contract offer last winter, eventually signing with the Mariners. Some in the Yankee organization believe it was a mistake letting Ibanez leave, particularly since he enjoyed a 29-homer season in Seattle.
- Jhonny Peralta has been rumored to be a Yankee target but signing him could be difficult given the uncertainty with A-Rod and Derek Jeter's continuing presence at shortstop, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes. “They’re going to have trouble getting a legit shortstop to go there until it’s over with Jeter,” a player agent tells Martino. The Bronx Bombers reached an agreement with Brendan Ryan earlier today, but Ryan projects as a backup while Peralta can find a clear starting job elsewhere.
- Also from Martino, the Yankees' interest in Peralta is bad news for the Mets, as it remains to be seen if they can afford a bidding war for Peralta's services with the Yankees or any other free-spending team.
- Carlos Ruiz could have been of interest to the Yankees, but with the Phillies catcher now off of the market, they've set their sights higher and are zeroing in on Brian McCann, Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger writes. “He’s made for New York,” one rival executive said of McCann. “This guy is as mentally tough as it gets.”
MLBTR's Zach Links also contributed to this post
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.
Major League Baseball is in a race against the clock to change the rules and eliminate home-plate collisions, writes ESPN's Buster Olney in his latest Insider-only column. MLB GMs were "100 percent" in favor when the issue of a rule-change was raised at the GM Meetings this week, says Olney. As one team lawyer pointed out to Olney, MLB has no choice but to scramble to get something in place for next season: "Everybody has said that there needs to be a change [in the rules], and if somebody gets hurt [in 2014] they could sue and claim that Major League Baseball knew there was a problem and didn’t do anything about it." Here are just a few of the highlights from Olney's highly informative piece:
- Ricky Nolasco already has a three-year offer in hand, and that same team has indicated that it may be willing to extend the offer to four years. Nolasco's agent, Matt Sosnick, told Olney that his client's preference is still to return to the Dodgers.
- Teams are racing to make their best offers to pitchers like Tim Hudson and Bronson Arroyo, knowing that those arms might not require the potential four- and five-year deals that Nolasco, Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez are targeting.
- The Twins have made it clear that they're looking to sign two good veteran arms, and in a separate tweet Olney notes that they're being very aggressive on the free agent market. In addition to their interest in Arroyo, it's possible that they're in on Nolasco, says Olney.
- The Royals have had internal discussions about adding Joba Chamberlain on a one-year deal, and as Olney points out, Kansas City pitching coach Dave Eiland was Chamberlain's pitching coach with the Yankees earlier in his career.
- The Royals would also like to sign Josh Johnson to a one-year deal in an attempt to recreate the magic of last year's Santana acquisition.
- Jhonny Peralta is looking for "huge" money, according to Olney's sources. Olney writes that Peralta is seeking "much" more than three years and $45MM. I predicted a three-year, $36MM pact for Peralta in my recent free agent profile of the former Tiger.
- The Padres haven't had any extension talks with Chase Headley this offseason, and as it stands right now, there are no plans to begin negotiations.