Veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta and young catcher Christian Vazquez have each changed their representation, moving to Melvin Roman’s MDR Sports, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal (subscription link).
Peralta, 34, is entering the final year of his free-agent contract with the Cardinals. He has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate, though his focus figures to remain on securing playing time and engineering a bounceback after an injury-plagued 2016 season.
Though he had been a steady contributor to the Cards in the first two years of his deal, Peralta fell off last year. After returning from wrist surgery, he managed only a .260/.307/.408 batting line with eight home runs over 313 plate appearances. He also showed some erosion in his glovework, and did not draw strong ratings upon shifting to third from his native shortstop position.
One of Peralta’s most notable teammates, veteran receiver Yadier Molina, is perhaps MDR’s best-known current player. The agency has a long list of catchers on its rolls, including not only Molina but also players such as Robinson Chirinos, Dioner Navarro, Brayan Pena, and Rene Rivera.
Vazquez will join that group as he enters a key season. The 26-year-old will qualify for arbitration after the year, so long as he accrues enough service time in 2017 with the Red Sox. As things stand, he has logged two years and 31 days at the MLB level.
Certainly, Vazquez will need to boost his offensive productivity to set himself up as hoped. After missing all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery, he did manage to make a full return and is regarded as a highly talented defender. But he struggled last year to a .227/.277/.308 batting line over 184 plate appearances and will need to earn playing time this spring in a camp battle with Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart.
As always, you can keep up on the latest agency information with MLBTR’s Agency Database.