The Tigers have brought right-hander Wily Peralta back to the organization on a minor league contract, Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reports (via Twitter). He’ll compete for a roster spot in big league camp after a solid showing in Detroit last year. Peralta would earn a $2.5MM base salary if he makes the roster, per Petzold, with the opportunity to pick up another $500K worth of incentives.
Peralta, 32, had a strong return to the Majors last season after not pitching in the Majors in 2020 and logging a 5.80 ERA in 40 innings with Kansas City in 2019. The former Brewers hurler went from minor league signee to a regular member in the Detroit rotation, making 18 starts (plus one relief appearance) and pitching to a 3.07 ERA in 93 2/3 innings. The underlying metrics weren’t nearly as rosy, as Peralta posted a just a 14.4% strikeout rate against a 9.5% walk rate. He kept more than half his batted balls on the ground, but metrics like FIP (4.94) and SIERA (5.27) don’t paint an especially optimistic portrait.
That’s likely a large reason that, in spite of a glowing 2021 ERA, Peralta had to settle for a nonguaranteed contract in free agency. That said, while Peralta isn’t promised a roster spot, he ought to have a decent chance at making the roster after making a good impression on the organization last year.
The Tigers’ Opening Day rotation figures to included Eduardo Rodriguez, Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, but things are less certain thereafter. Righty Matt Manning, a longtime top prospect, was hit hard in his MLB debut last year but will still have a chance to win a spot. Prospects Joey Wentz and Alex Faedo could eventually be options, but both are returning from Tommy John surgery.
It’s quite possible that the Tigers will add another veteran starter to join the ranks, thus pushing Peralta and Manning into a competition for the fifth spot on the staff. For the time being, Peralta seemingly has a better chance at cracking the roster than your average non-roster player in Spring Training.