Joel Peralta Rumors

Dodgers Acquire Joel Peralta

The Dodgers announced that they have acquired right-hander Joel Peralta and lefty Adam Liberatore from the Rays in exchange for right-handers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Joel Peralta

Peralta, 39 in March, has been a workhorse out of the Rays’ bullpen for the past four seasons, averaging 74 appearances and 67 innings per season while posting a 3.58 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 269 1/3 innings. Peralta is an extreme fly-ball pitcher, with a ground-ball rate just north of 31 percent in his career, but the pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium should mitigate some of that concern.

The veteran Peralta gives the Dodgers a much-needed bullpen upgrade at a very reasonable financial cost. He’s due just $2.5MM in 2015 and has club options for 2016 and 2017 at the same rate — neither of which has a buyout attached. There’s an obvious connection between the Dodgers and Peralta, as former Rays GM Andrew Friedman recently jumped ship to become the president of baseball operations with Los Angeles. Friedman no doubt thinks highly of both Peralta and Liberatore.

Peralta struggled, to some extent, in 2014, posting a 4.41 ERA — his worst mark since an ugly 2009 season with the Rockies. However, he still managed to strike out 10.5 hitters per nine innings and showed the best control he has displayed in recent years, walking just 2.1 batters per nine. Peralta’s typically low BABIP spiked to .307 this past season and he allowed homers at a slightly higher clip than usual; those factors are the likely reasoning behind his increased ERA. However, metrics such as FIP (3.40) and SIERA (2.54) feel that Peralta was much better than his earned run average would indicate.

The 27-year-old Liberatore was lights out in Triple-A this past season, notching a 1.66 ERA with 11.9 K/9 against just 2.1 BB/9 in 65 innings of relief work. He was highly effective against both right- and left-handed hitters, holding each to an OPS south of .500.

Dominguez, 24, has received a brief taste of Major League action in each of the past two seasons with L.A., allowing 10 runs in 14 2/3 innings with a 12-to-6 K/BB ratio. He’s shown a propensity for strikeouts in the minors, however, averaging 10 punchouts per nine innings for his career. Dominguez struggled in the lower levels but has posted a 2.22 ERA in 24 1/3 Double-A innings and a 2.61 ERA in 41 1/1 Triple-A innings. Baseball America ranked him 11th among Dodgers prospects last offseason, calling him a “pure power arm” whose fastball sits 97-100 mph and can touch 102. However, BA noted his erratic command and a 50-game suspension for PED use on his minor league track record in their scouting report. MLB.com ranked him 13th among Dodgers prospects midseason, also praising his fastball but noting that his slider is better known for its velocity than its bite at this time.

The Dodgers selected Harris, 20, in the 17th round of the 2013 draft, and he posted nice strikeout numbers in Class A this season. Harris pitched to a 4.45 ERA as a 19-year-old in the Midwest League, whiffing 92 hitters against 28 walks in 87 innings of work. Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel tweets that he’s heard good things about the velocity of both pitchers acquired by the Rays in this deal, with Dominguez having been clocked as high as 103 mph and Harris sitting in the mid 90s as a starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Rays Exercise Joel Peralta’s Option

The Rays have exercised their $2.5MM team option on right-hander Joel Peralta for the 2015 season, MLBDailyDish.com’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). Earlier today, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the Rays were likely to pick up Peralta’s option and bring the 38-year-old back for his fifth season in Tampa.  Peralta is represented by Mark Gilling.

Peralta, 38, has been a reliable relief arm out of the Rays bullpen since 2010, posting a 3.58 ERA, 9.8 K/9 and 3.49 K/BB rate and averaging 67 innings per season.  He was somewhat unlucky to post a 4.41 ERA in 2014 given that he had strong peripherals (10.52 K/9, 2.13 BB/9) and an impressive set of ERA indicators (3.40 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, 2.54 SIERA).

Peralta would seem to be well worth the $2.5MM price tag, though there was some speculation that the Rays could decline the option given their limited payroll and a 40-man roster crunch.  Tampa Bay also holds club options on Peralta for 2016 and 2017 (each worth $2.5MM) as per the original two-year contract he signed prior to the 2013 season.


AL Notes: Peralta, Janssen, Lowrie

The Rays will wait until tomorrow to make their option decision on reliever Joel Peralta, the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin tweets. They’ll also soon be making other 40-man decisions, since they need to reinstate Matt Moore and Jerry Sands from the 60-day disabled list, and their roster is currently full. Peralta’s option comes at $2.5MM, and if the Rays exercise it, they’ll have options at the same price for 2016 and 2017 as well. Peralta is 38 and is coming off a season in which he posted a 4.41 ERA, and the Rays could decide to let him go to save a bit of money and clear a roster spot for a younger player. In general, though, $2.5MM would seem to be a reasonable price for a reliever who had 10.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 last season. Here’s more from the American League.

  • Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen is excited for free agency, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star writes. After a poor second half (perhaps due in part to coming down with food poisoning at the All-Star Break), Janssen isn’t sure how he’ll be valued, but he points to the Royals’ excellent bullpen and the Tigers’ playoff struggles as evidence that good relievers are valuable. “It just shortens the game when you can confidently hand the keys to the ’pen in the sixth or seventh inning,” he says.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Athletics do not plan to extend a qualifying offer to Jed Lowrie, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Lowrie has said that he’s unlikely to give the A’s a significant hometown discount to return, and the team isn’t likely to want to make a longer commitment. They also don’t have an obvious internal replacement (particularly after sending Addison Russell to the Cubs), so they could be on the hunt for a shortstop this offseason. Slusser notes that someone like Stephen Drew, who they might be able to sign to a shorter deal, might be a candidate. The A’s could also trade to acquire a shortstop from a team like the Cubs or Diamondbacks. Slusser writes that the Athletics will likely lose their other six free agents as well — Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Luke Gregerson, Jonny Gomes, Alberto Callaspo and Geovany Soto.


AL East Notes: Ross, Sox, Yanks, McCarthy, ARod, Rays

If he hangs up his spikes, as he is said to be weighingRed Sox catcher David Ross should have plenty of avenues for non-playing jobs in the game, tweets Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. A former GM tells Mastrodonato that he considers Ross a close friend and would be more than happy to find a position for him.

Here’s more from Boston and the rest of the AL East:

  • As the offseason begins for the Red Sox, GM Ben Cherington reiterated that the team needs to add depth in the rotation and in the lineup, as MLB.com’s Ian Browne reports. In particular, the club will emphasize left-handed-hitting options around the diamond.
  • Apart from Brett Gardner, the Yankees generally lack attractive veteran contracts that could be dealt in a rebuilding scenario, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. But while that makes little sense, neither would it be beneficial to spend top dollar on the high-end free agent market, argues Sherman. Instead, New York should continue to wield its financial muscle to make more incremental gains that maintain financial and roster flexibility — much as the team did on the trade deadline this year.
  • One player who could meet that description is starter Brandon McCarthy. As Roger Rubin of the New York Daily news reports, the big righty is very open to a return to New York but is not exactly waiting with bated breath. “When the phone rings we’ll find out for sure,” said McCarthy, who added that he is willing to be aggressive in selling his services. “You don’t have to be the biggest name to be the first domino to fall,” he said. “You could be at the beginning or the end and at some slot in the middle. I’ve been focused on what I am doing, but soon it could be time to weigh what’s going on. I feel if I got the right offer, I’d be willing to sign early in the process.”
  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi says that he needs to see how Alex Rodriguez looks on the field before determining his role next year, as George A. King III of the New York Post reports. But Girardi says that his expectation is that Rodriguez will take a regular role at third: “Do we expect him to be a player on our team? Absolutely. Do we expect him to play third base? Yes. In fairness you have to see where he is at. I can’t tell you what will happen, but we expect him to be our third baseman.”
  • For the Rays, manager Joe Maddon hopes to stay on past 2015 but is in no rush to add onto his contract, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain reports. Meanwhile, both utilityman Ben Zobrist and reliever Joel Peralta hope the team will exercise its options over them for the coming year, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. That is a foregone conclusion for Zobrist, of course, but Peralta ($2.5MM option with no buyout) is a more difficult call as he enters his age-39 season. His 4.41 ERA over 63 1/3 frames does not look very appealing, but Peralta did post a 3.40 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, and 2.54 SIERA on the back of 10.5 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9.

Mets Not Targeting Vinnie Pestano

11:58pm: Rubin was told by a Mets person there's nothing there regarding the team pursuing Pestano.

10:33am: In search of late-inning relief help, the Mets are targeting Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Though it's not clear whether the Mets have made an offer to Cleveland, New York has been pursuing Pestano at the Winter Meetings, says Rubin.

The Mets have also attempted to engage the Rays and Royals about bullpen pieces, but haven't made any progress on either front, according to Rubin. New York inquired about Joel Peralta, but found Tampa Bay's asking price too high. The Rays just re-signed Peralta to a multiyear deal a couple weeks ago.


Rays Sign Joel Peralta

The Rays announced that they have re-signed reliever Joel Peralta to a two-year contract. The deal guarantees the 36-year-old $6MM and includes a series of club options covering the 2015-17 seasons. Agent Mark Gilling represents the right-hander, who will be welcomed back to Tampa Bay.

“We love Joel’s competitiveness and the impact he has on the younger pitchers in our bullpen,” executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in a team statement.

Peralta appeared in 76 games for the Rays this past season. He posted a 3.63 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 67 innings, setting career highs in strikeouts (84) and strikeout rate.

Peralta ranked 38th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents. At the end of the season he expressed interest in re-signing with Tampa Bay if possible. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times first reported the news, adding that the 2015 option was valued at $2.5MM.


AL East Notes: Ortiz, Peralta, Jackson

Some links from around the AL East for your Monday reading pleasure…

  • David Ortiz is still looking for two years and $25-30MM, according to the Boston Herald's John Tomase. Ortiz told Tomase that he expects the Red Sox to reach out to his representatives at SFX next week.
  • Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com cautions Orioles fans not to buy into any rumblings that Ortiz could end up in Baltimore if he doesn't re-sign with the Red Sox. Dubroff notes that manager Buck Showalter felt handicapped by Vladimir Guerrero's inability to play in the field the last time the team had a strict DH in 2011.
  • In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Chastain tells one reader that Joel Peralta is so intent on returning to the Rays that he will likely deal with them exclusively before talking to other teams. Chastain does opine that a multi-year deal from an outside team could sway Peralta's thinking.
  • Chastain also says he believes that the Rays will open the season with Ben Zobrist as the shortstop, as Hak-Ju Lee may not be ready from an offensive standpoint yet.
  • Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that the Blue Jays had nine different scouts in attendance for Edwin Jackson's final three regular season starts. Jackson will be a free agent this offseason, and while he'd like to return to the Nationals, he could end up elsewhere. The Jays are planning to shop aggressively this offseason.

Rays, Joel Peralta Avoid Arbitration

1:44pm: Peralta will earn $2.175MM, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter). 

12:18pm: The Rays announced that they avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Joel Peralta, and agreed to terms on a one-year, Major League contract for 2012. Mark Gilling represents Peralta, who had a projected $2MM salary for 2012, according to MLBTR's estimates.

Peralta, 35, posted a 2.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 27% ground ball rate in 67 2/3 innings of relief this past season. The Rays signed Peralta a year ago this week after the Nationals non-tendered him.


Players Claimed And Pulled Back

A player who is claimed on waivers can be pulled back by his original team, and it happens regularly.  It could be that the two sides just couldn't reach a deal, or it might be that the original team never intended to trade the player.  Technically a player can be placed on waivers a second time, but it's rare because in that case he cannot be pulled back.  Reportedly, at least 16 players have been claimed and pulled back this month: 

Many players were placed on waivers and were not traded, including John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton, Brett Myers, Clint Barmes, and Craig Breslow.  It's safe to assume several of these players were claimed and then pulled back.  Additionally, at least 23 players have cleared waivers and can be traded to any team.


Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. Most non-tenders don’t come back to haunt their former clubs, but they definitely have the potential to do so.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them have added value for new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are contributing in 2011:

Outfielders

  • Tony Gwynn Jr., Dodgers (non-tendered by Padres) – Gwynn has a .255/.312/.333 line with 15 stolen bases in 252 plate appearances for the Dodgers and has played all three outfield positions.
  • Scott Hairston, Mets (non-tendered by Padres) – Hairston has a robust .264/.331/.527 line with seven homers in a part-time role for the Mets.

Infielders

  • Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays (technically non-tendered by Athletics) – Encarnacion has a .277/.326/.446 line this year, including an .894 OPS since June 1st.

Catchers

  • Ronny Paulino, Mets (non-tendered by Marlins) – Paulino has been a serviceable part-time backstop for the Mets, posting a .293/.328/.374 line in 187 trips to the plate.
  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Martin has 12 homers and a .228/.324/.383 line in 349 plate appearances. He's tenth among all MLB catchers with 2.1 wins above replacement.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) – The right-hander has a 2.31 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Albers is easily having his best season yet and all he cost was $875K. He's under team control through 2013.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) – The big righty has a 4.40 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 45 innings so far in 2011. The numbers are solid, but not so good that the Brewers have much to second-guess themselves on.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) – Aceves has a 3.18 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings as a swingman for the Red Sox this year. Considering the injuries the Boston pitching staff has sustained, you could argue that Aceves has been one of their best offseason additions.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) – Veras has a 3.19 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings this year and has been a key weapon in Clint Hurdle's bullpen.
  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) – Moseley has a 3.30 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 20 starts. Now on the DL, Moseley has completed a career-high 120 innings.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (technically non-tendered by Red Sox) – When healthy, Buchholz has been effective, posting a 3.12 ERA with a 26K/7BB ratio in 26 innings. He has been on the disabled list since June.
  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) – The 35-year-old leads the American League in appearances (55) and has a 3.68 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 after 51 1/3 innings in Tampa Bay.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Sherrill has a 3.38 ERA with a 36K/11BB ratio in 32 innings for his new club. He has mostly faced left-handed hitters.