Jhonny Peralta Rumors
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.
The Mets recently had a meeting with shortstop Jhonny Peralta at the GM meetings, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. The Mets are in the shortstop market after struggling through the 2013 season with Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada at the position, and the two best shortstops on the free agent market are Peralta and Stephen Drew. Unlike Drew, signing Peralta would not require the Mets to sacrifice a draft pick, although the Mets' first-round pick, at No. 10 overall, is protected either way.
Heyman notes that players do not normally attend the GM meetings, but that, after Peralta's Biogenesis suspension in 2013, appearing in person might have been a smart move. Peralta hit .303/.358/.457 with the Tigers in 107 games last season.
Jhonny Peralta was enjoying one of the finest seasons of his career when he was connected to the Biogenesis clinic this summer. Soon after, MLB slammed 12 players, including Peralta, with 50-game suspensions. Peralta's strong season at the plate is now tainted, and he'll have to try to overcome the negative impact of that suspension in free agency this offseason.
Peralta is a career .268/.330/.425 hitter, translating to a 101 OPS+ and 102 wRC+. In other words, he's one to two percent better than a league-average hitter, which is an incredibly valuable trait to have as a shortstop. Over the past five seasons, shortstops have collectively posted wRC+ ratings between 83 and 88. Peralta's robust .303/.358/.457 line from 2013 translated to a mark of 123.
His glove was shaky early on in his career, but both Ultimate Zone Rating and The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved metric agree that Peralta has improved tremendously in recent years. Peralta has a +9.1 UZR/150 dating back to 2009, and DRS has him at +4 runs in that stretch. Peralta offers positional flexibility, having totaled 1742 big league innings at third base as well, though neither defensive metric likes him as much at the hot corner.
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.
Peralta broke into the league as a full-time player at the age of 23, so while it seems like he's been around for a long time, he's still just 31 years old and won't turn 32 until late May of 2014. Peralta will be younger than every notable free agent third baseman and every notable free agent shortstop outside of Stephen Drew.
He's been highly durable throughout his career, averaging 149 games per season and, incredibly, never landing on the disabled list at any point in his Major League tenure.
Given the Tigers' acquisition of Jose Iglesias, the team elected not to extend a qualifying offer to Peralta and risk having to deploy him in left field or at second base. Unlike his main competition -- Drew -- signing Peralta will not require draft pick forfeiture.
Peralta's career numbers at the plate look solid, but he's been wildly inconsistent on a year-to-year basis. Peralta has five seasons of an OPS+/wRC+ greater than 100 (i.e. better than league average), one in the low 90s and three in the mid-80s. In particular, his power seems to fluctuate, as he owns four 20+ homer seasons but has hit between 11 and 15 long balls in every other big league season he's played. He'd be compensated much more handsomely if he could show consistent 20-homer pop.
Peralta may have posted a .303 batting aveage in 2013, but that mark was clearly boosted by a career-high .374 batting average on balls in play. He won't repeat that number in 2013, and it's reasonable to expect his average to drop accordingly, perhaps even lower than his career .268 mark, as Peralta's strikeout rate jumped to 21.9 percent this season.
If Peralta's average comes down, he could post an OBP below the league average, as he did in 2009, 2010 and 2012, due to the fact that he's walked at just an 8.3 percent clip for his career. Unlike his average and power totals, that number has remained pretty constant, and he was at 7.8 percent this year.
Peralta's connection to PEDs brings into question just how much of his 2013 performance was natural. A player with such a sterling medical history can hardly make the claim that he was using banned substances to help speed up his timetable for recovery from an injury.
Peralta and his wife, Molly, have three daughters and make their home in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, per the Tigers media guide. His teammates defended him after the suspension, with Hunter in particular offering praise (via MLive.com's Chris Iott): "If you know Jhonny -- and a lot of people don't know Jhonny -- but if you know Jhonny, awesome guy. Awesome guy. He just made a mistake." Verlander called Peralta his "brother," noting that he could hold no grudge against a man who admitted to making a mistake and serving the penalty for it.
Peralta has made it clear that he'd like to return to the Tigers, but with Iglesias installed at shortstop and top prospect Nick Castellanos serving as an in-house possibility for left field, the Tigers simply don't have much room on the roster to keep Peralta around.
If and when the Tigers move on, Peralta and agent Fern Cuza of SFX shouldn't have any problem finding interested contenders willing to offer a multiyear deal. Shortstops are always in demand, and in spite of his inconsistencies, Peralta has averaged 2.8 fWAR and 2.6 rWAR over the past six seasons.
Even in his worst seasons, Peralta has been a considerable upgrade over what the Cardinals received from Pete Kozma this season. The Pirates could look to upgrade over Jordy Mercer's shaky glove if they feel he can't repeat this year's .368 second-half BABIP (which, obviously, is quite unlikely). Given uncertainty surrounding Ruben Tejada's status and a stated desire to spend on free agency, the Mets could be a logical landing place as well. Oakland could use Peralta at shortstop and slide Jed Lowrie over to second base, but they may be hesitant to meet his asking price and may not want to block Addison Russell's path to the Majors.
Peralta could also appeal to teams that need help at third base. In that regard, a return to Cleveland could make sense, and Angels could also use an upgrade at the position. Signing Peralta would give them the luxury to aggressively shop Erick Aybar as well. The Dodgers could also look to upgrade at third if they don't retain Juan Uribe.
Suspension aside, Peralta is a typically solid bat at a premium position who can boast being youthful enough that he's not yet entering his decline phase. Peralta is a league-average bat with upside for much more and whose floor would only drop him to roughly league-average for his position. Players like that are scarce on the free agent market.
Cuza seems likely to target four years for Peralta on the open market, and his best bet may very well be to try to start a bidding war between two teams with a clear need such as the Cardinals and Mets. Marco Scutaro's three-year, $20MM contract with the Giants seems too light, given Peralta's offensive track record, so I expect Peralta to sign a three-year, $36MM contract.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Astros are receiving significant interest in catcher Jason Castro, and interest could pick up once big free agents like Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia go off the board, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Their interest in trading Castro isn't known, but Houston is said to like catching prospect Max Stassi very much. Heyman sees the Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Rockies, and Twins as teams that could possibly have interest if Castro is on the block. Here's more out of the AL West..
- The Mariners are more immersed in the Carlos Beltran-Jhonny Peralta-Kendrys Morales market than Jacoby Ellsbury at this point, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (Twitter link) doesn't see the Astros trading Castro. Even though Castro is starting to make some money - the catcher is projected to earn $2.2MM in arbitration this year - they're not deep enough at catcher to lose him and the club needs to take a step forward.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com examined Carlos Ruiz as a possible fit for the Rangers if they don't land top catcher Brian McCann.
- More from Durrett, who believes that Jurickson Profar's trade value hasn't decreased much despite a down year in 2013.
- The Angels' best bet for acquiring quality pitching via trade would be to part with Mark Trumbo, even though losing him would hurt, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.