Jhonny Peralta Rumors
"The expectation is" that the Mariners will target right-handed hitters such as Jhonny Peralta, Marlon Byrd, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz this offseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The M's were particularly weak from the right side of the plate last season and will look to upgrade their right-handed bats, though really, Seattle will look to add hitting in any form. Ken Rosenthal also noted that the Mariners were looking at right-handed hitters earlier this week, though he noted that the M's were in on Napoli. Here's some more news from around the AL West...
- Cruz declined his qualifying offer from the Rangers today and Adam Katz, Cruz's agent, told ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett that he will continue to talk with the team about his client's possible return to Texas. "We've always been engaged with the Rangers and continue to be," Katz said. Durrett notes, the draft pick compensation tied to Cruz may hurt him in free agency, though MLBTR's Steve Adams recently predicted Cruz would find a three-year, $39MM deal on the open market.
- Brian Grieper, Napoli's agent, is scheduled to meet with Rangers GM Jon Daniels during the GM Meetings, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. The Rangers are known to be looking for an upgrade at first base and Napoli, a former Ranger, would definitely fit the bill.
- The Rangers have promoted A.J. Preller to assistant general manager, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (Twitter link). Preller had previously worked as the team's senior director of player personnel. Texas also named Mike Daly, formerly their director of international scouting, as the franchise's new senior director of minor league operations.
- The Angels have been opposed to going over the luxury tax limit under Arte Moreno's ownership and that's not likely to change, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez writes. Gonzalez also looks at Mark Trumbo trade rumors and a possible Mike Trout extension as part of his all-Angels mailbag.
- In another item from Gonzalez, he speculates about what the Angels might have to give up (and what the Rays might want) in order to facilitate a David Price trade.
- Earlier today on MLBTR we collected another set of AL West notes earlier today on MLBTR, a set of Astros-related notes and learned that the Angels signed Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal.
- Five or six teams have inquired about Davis and/or Lucas Duda, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports. Duda is considered by some AL teams to be a fit as a designated hitter, Carig tweets.
- Peralta appears to be the Mets' top free agent target, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes. The club "really likes" Peralta but they don't know if he intends to sign soon or later in the offseason.
- The Mets have talked to free agent Corey Hart, but Martino gets the sense that they either don't identify him as a top target or aren't that eager to get a deal done with him. Carig (link) also hears from a source that the Mets aren't close to a deal with the Brewers first baseman. "We haven't discussed him in depth enough to say where we'd put him if we got him," the source said.
- The Mets have plans to meet with Curtis Granderson's agent this week, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter). The outfielder is turning down the Yankees' $14.1MM qualifying offer.
- The Mets have touched base with Marlon Byrd's representatives in the last few days, according to Carig (link). Recently, Steve Adams examined the market for Byrd and concluded that he could fetch a deal in the neighborhood of $16MM over two years.
- A source suggested to Carig (link) that it would make sense for the Mets to take their time in trading Davis and take advantage of a market that is starved for power. Carig (link) hears that the Mets might do just that and hang on to him until later in the offseason when teams will be seeking out less costly alternatives to add power.
- The Mets aren't actively talking to Mike Pelfrey about a possible reunion, but they are open to it, a team official tells Adam Rubin. "I know he is on a long list of guys just like him," the team insider said. The Mets non-tendered the hurler after he earned $5.7MM in 2012.
- The Mets' top priority is shortstop, but they're hardly alone in that, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Possible options for the Mets include Peralta, Erick Aybar, Didi Gregorius, Rafael Furcal, and Jed Lowrie.
Free agent reliever Mark Hendrickson would like to return to the Orioles organization in 2014, but he doesn't know where he'll wind up this winter. "Obviously, I'd love to get his feedback from an organizational standpoint," Hendrickson told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. "I'm very happy with the opportunity they gave me last year. I don't know what's going to happen moving forward. I've got to be open to everything. I obviously have a connection with the Orioles. I love the organization, love where it's been going. But to determine what will happen, it's hard to say sitting here in November - what their thoughts are, how everything unfolds, what's going on." Here's more out of the AL East..
- Attorneys for Major League Baseball accused Alex Rodriguez of “a brazen attempt to circumvent the ongoing arbitration process” in a motion filed Friday to dismiss the Yankees third baseman's lawsuit against MLB and commissioner Bud Selig, write Ken Davidoff and Rich Calder of the New York Post.
- The Yankees announced yesterday that they are bringing back their entire coaching staff. That means that key figures such as pitching coach Larry Rothschild, bench coach Tony Pena, and hitting coach Kevin Long will return for another year in pinstripes.
- The Yanks will face tough competition for players on their free agent wish list this year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports. "[T]his isn’t going to be like 2008 when [GM Brian Cashman] was able to blow everyone out of the water" by committing $423 million to CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett, Madden writes. The Yankees are expected to battle with the Tigers, Rangers, Red Sox and Mets for players that include Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Grant Balfour, Jhonny Peralta and Masahiro Tanaka.
- The Orioles are expected to hire Braves special assistant Dom Chiti as their bullpen coach, industry sources tell Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.
Look for a lot of change to the Mets for 2014, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman projects a revamped lineup, not as a specific prediction, but as representative of the kinds of additions the front office is contemplating. It includes Norichika Aoki in the leadoff spot, Andre Ethier batting cleanup, and Jhonny Peralta manning short. Here are the key takeaways from Sherman's piece:
- The Mets are much less likely to chase after top free agents like Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury than they are to add multiple pieces.
- Ike Davis is very likely to be dealt, with Lucas Duda getting an opportunity to play first. Sherman suggests that a Davis-for-Aoki swap could save the Mets money and create a better fit for New York.
- Peralta is definitely on the club's radar, and they could try to sign him early in order to set the tone for the offseason. If they fail to land Peralta, says Sherman, the Mets will check in on the trade market to fill their shortstop void.
- Though Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler may well be off limits, the Mets could deal from their other pitching depth, including Rafael Montero. Sherman floats the concept of a trade with the Dodgers for Ethier or even Matt Kemp, and notes that the team might otherwise pursue Curtis Granderson in free agency.
- Look for the addition of several veteran depth pieces in the pitching staff and bench, says Sherman.
After introducing new manager Brad Ausmus to the press today, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski chatted with members of the media, including Chris Iott of MLive.com. Among the information he chose to reveal is that the club will not make any qualifying offers to players eligible for free agency, and does not expect to re-sign. (Twitter links.)
While none of the Detroit free agents were obvious QO candidates, there were arguments to be made for second baseman Omar Infante and perhaps shortstop Jhonny Peralta and closer Joaquin Benoit. With the news, those three (and the rest of the Tigers' free agent crop) can enter the market without being hindered by draft pick compensation.
As for Peralta, Dombrowski's apparent lack of interest in a reunion is not all that surprising, particularly given that the club dealt for his replacement (Jose Iglesias) immediately after Peralta's 50-game PED suspension. On the other hand, Peralta did return to the field for the club and has expressed interest in returning. Ultimately, it seems likely that he'd be more valuable anyway to team looking to fill a starting shortstop vacancy.
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred testified, during the Alex Rodriguez arbitration hearing, baseball did not concern itself if Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch distributed illegal substances to minors and was only interested in possible criminal activity involving players. Today, Manfred called the report "ridiculous" telling Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his testimony was "totally out of context and mischaracterized" and accused the A-Rod camp of leaking the story. "The larger point is this: From our perspective, one of the reasons we pursue cases like the A-Rod case is we think players should be role models for kids," Manfred explained to Haudricourt. "It's almost comical that A-Rod, who already has admitted in the past he used steroids, would express an opinion on our stance on children and PEDs." The hearing will resume next month. In other news and notes from the American League:
- Mike Napoli's strong postseason is further proof his avascular necrosis is not an issue as he enters free agency for the second time, reports MLB.com's Lindsay Berra. Napoli was frustrated by having to settle for a one-year, $5MM deal (incentives pushed the eventual value to $13MM) after a three-year, $39MM contract was scrapped because of the AVN diagnosis. "I waited seven years for free agency and then got an opportunity, and it got taken away because of something I didn't even know I had and had never had any pain from," said Napoli. "I'm a little more confident about negotiating a contract now that I've shown all year that my hips aren't an issue, but I'm sure I'm going to have to go through all the steps again, with all the MRIs and talking to doctors."
- There are six questions the Tigers must answer this offseason, writes MLive.com's Chris Iott. Among the answers, Iott predicts Jim Leyland will return as manager, the Tigers will not re-sign Jhonny Peralta (despite his desire to remain in Detroit), but will re-sign Joaquin Benoit and Omar Infante.
- The Orioles don't have a lot of inventory to deal this winter after trading away six players in midseason acquisitions, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, and Steve Johnson head the list of tradeable players, according to Dubroff.
- Nolan Ryan left his imprint on the Rangers, especially the pitching staff, with his attitude and focus on conditioning, opines Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- Ryan received a $10MM buyout (his ownership stake plus incentives) when he announced his retirement from the Rangers, Grant reports in separate article. However, according to Forbes, Ryan wound up losing money on his ownership investment. Ryan's original equity interest was valued at $13MM (6% ownership); but, dwindled to $7MM (1% ownership) because he declined to participate in various cash calls to cover his share of the losses the franchise incurred.
It has been a trying year for Jhonny Peralta as he missed 50 games due to his PED suspension before the club's playoff run, which ended at the hands of the Red Sox last night. Peralta now faces an uncertain future as he is eligible for free agency, but the veteran says that he wants to stay with the Tigers, writes John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
The Tigers have their shortstop position spoken for with Jose Iglesias, but Peralta might be willing to continue at his new left field position to facilitate a new deal with Detroit.
"There's a chance for sure, yeah, because I like the organization here," Peralta said when asked about the possibility. "Do I want to be here? Yeah, I want to be here."
It's unclear how much interest there will be on the other side of the table. The Tigers could turn to Nick Castellanos or Andy Dirks to man the position and might not want to spend the money to bring Peralta back. Peralta, an SFX client, hit .303/.358/.457 in 448 plate appearances in 2013.
After serving a 50-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta returned to his team Friday, now playing left field. Jose Iglesias has hit fairly well while living up to his defensive reputation since the Tigers acquired him in the three-team Jake Peavy trade at the July deadline, and so Peralta's team isn't the same as it was when he left it. Luckily for Peralta, Tigers left fielders, headed by Andy Dirks, haven't been spectacular, and there's still room for Peralta's potent bat in the Tigers' lineup and on their bench. He now appears set to make the Tigers' ALDS roster. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio acknowledges that his team has had a "disappointing" season, Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel reports. But the team's struggles created opportunities for players like Scooter Gennett, Khris Davis and Tyler Thornburg, and those players took advantage. "It certainly is going to affect how we plan in the offseason," Attanasio says. "We did our full group staff meetings, and a lot of these guys are in the mix now, and I don’t know if you would have had any of them in the mix three to four months ago." Attanasio suggests that the Brewers will pursue pitching this offseason, even though there aren't "a lot of obvious candidates" on the free agent market.
- The Royals and manager Ned Yost haven't yet begun talks on a new contract, but it's nearly certain he'll return, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes. "I’ve got too much invested here," says Yost. "These players are a joy to be around. They’re a fun, fun group." Royals GM Dayton Moore recently expressed interest in keeping Yost in the organization. The Royals are the midst of their first winning season since 2003.
Yesterday it was reported that Jhonny Peralta has left ACES for SFX as he prepares to hit free agency this offseason. Regarding his departure, Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES offered the following statement (via MLB.com's Jason Beck):
"ACES takes great pride in standing by our players during difficult times in their lives. Thankfully, the darkest chapter in Jhonny’s professional career has concluded. We wish him the best in all that he does moving forward, and fully understand that Jhonny is more comfortable with a Latin agent. ACES is proud to represent great players who are quality people for over three decades and we will continue to defend and assert our players’ rights under the rules of the game."
Here's more out of baseball's Central divisions...
- Royals closer Greg Holland is thriving in a role that he never would have expected to have before becoming a pro, writes MLB.com's Kathleen Gier. Holland was a high school third baseman in North Carolina and anticipated a future as an infielder before changing his path.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times asks if Kris Bryant is the Cubs' third baseman of the future. Bryant also has experience in the outfield and the Cubs have other candidates within their system (Javier Baez, Christian Villanueva, and Mike Olt) for the third base position.
- Wittenmyer also chronicles the journey that C.J. Edwards has taken from the small town of Prosperity, S.C. to prized Cubs pitching prospect, losing his best friend in a car crash and falling to the 48th round of the draft along the way.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters, including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger (Twitter link), that Mike Pelfrey will not be shut down for the season and will continue to pitch. That's financially significant, as Pelfrey is 7 2/3 innings from reaching the first tier of incentives in his contract, as detailed by Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press earlier this month.
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.