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.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.