Joel Peralta will be staying in Tampa Bay, as the free agent reliever and the Rays have agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract with a team option for 2015.
Peralta signed with the Rays in 2011 after the Nationals cut him loose despite excellent numbers the previous season and has logged 135 innings with a 3.27 ERA and 145/35 K/BB ratio in two seasons for Tampa Bay. During that time he’s been a bargain at a combined cost of $3.1 million.
Giving a multi-year deal to a 37-year-old is definitely a risk, but the price is certainly right and Peralta is coming off a season in which he posted by far the best strikeout rate of his career at 11.3 per nine innings and he was exceptional in the second half.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.