UPDATE: The deal is done. Two-years, $11.25 million with a club option for 2013.
Saturday, 4:25 P.M.: According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, the Tigers are close to signing Jhonny Peralta to a two-year, $11.25 million contract.
The Tigers declined Peralta’s $7.5 million option for 2011 earlier this week, but they were expected to bring him back at a lesser salary. If Rojas’ report is true, he will return at nearly the same price as Brandon Inge, who recently re-signed with the Tigers for two years and $11.5 million.
Peralta, who turns 29 next May, batted .249/.311/.392 with 15 home runs, 81 RBI and the Indians and Tigers this past season.
It’s a curious decision, to say the least. Peralta rates well below average defensively at shortstop and has posted an OPS of 696 over the past two seasons. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski may soon regret the composition of the left side of his infield. You’d think that $22.75 million could have been better spent this offseason.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.
Earlier, Craig asked if Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber would play the outfield now that the World Series has come to Chicago, where there will be no DH. The answer to that is no, it appears. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the outfield, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber returned to the Cubs sooner than expected after suffering a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg during an early April collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in Arizona. In preparation to join the Cubs for the World Series, Schwarber went to the Arizona Fall League and reportedly saw over 1,000 pitches from machines as well as Single-A pitchers. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (that was very nearly a home run) in Game 1, then drew a walk and hit two RBI singles in five plate appearances in Game 2.
At least right now, however, it appears Schwarber will serve as a bat off the bench for Games 3, 4, and 5 until he gets medical clearance.