31-year-old Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta is eligible to be a free agent at the end of this season.
In early August, he was suspended 50-games for his ties to Biogenesis, prior to which he was hitting .303 with a .358 OBP, 11 HR and 55 RBI in 107 games. He was able to activated in time to play in the postseason, during which he’s had several key hits while playing left field and short.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’ll bet Sandy Alderson is interested in Peralta. He’s a good player with a track record of success, he’s in his prime, his value is probably down due to the suspension and, even if he’s a bust, he’d be an upgrade over what Alderson ran out at shortstop last season. He’d quickly improve the team at what will likely be a reasonable cost, maybe — hopefully — even at a bargain, when all is said and done.
He’s not the best defensive shortstop, but his advanced stats suggest he’s better than he looks. Yes, I know some fans and media will get all high and mighty and judgmental about his connection to Biogenisis, but Alderson doesn’t seem to care. He signed Marlon Byrd and was rumored to have interest (albeit limited interest) in Melky Cabrera, so he’s seemingly willing to play in this end of the recovery pool. Peralta fits this mold, as does Ryan Braun, by the way.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Peralta has shown inconsistent power and production over the course of his career and has posted a slightly below average OPS since coming to the big leagues, although he’s fairly consistent against both right-handed pitchers and left-handed pitchers. Biogenisis aside, he is a proven commodity who is durable, has postseason experience and has enjoyed moderate success in a high pressure situations in Detroit. Those attributes could be valuable to a team like the Mets, who are trying to take the next step in a transitional period with steady and predictable assets.
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
Peralta is the prototypical case of a player in a contract year. He’ll turn 32 next May, so it’s important to note his ability to play a premium defensive position is going to decrease over the course of his next contract. Also worth noting is the fact that he made $6 million this season with the Tigers, which is less than Stephen Drew made with the Red Sox. So, if forced to choose between those two, I’d definitely take Peralta.
If the Mets are truly looking to successfully bridge the gap for the next three or four years, while they improve the farm system, all logic points to spending money on proven, albeit aging, MLB bats like Peralta.