While the Rangers are prepared to welcome Nelson Cruz back for the playoffs after his completes his 50-game suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis, the Tigers aren’t ready to say the same for Jhonny Peralta.
According to Chris Iott of MLive.com, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski responded to inquiries on Peralta’s status yesterday by saying via email that no decision has been made.
“We have not made any decisions on Jhonny’s situation to date,” Dombrowski said.
Peralta was batting .305/.361/.461 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI over 104 games prior to the suspension and was named to his second All-Star team back in July. The Tigers acquired Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox in a three-team trade last month and appear content with him as their starting shortstop, so it sounds like they could go the Melky Cabrera route and simply tell him to stay home. Of course, injuries could change things.
Peralta, 31, is due to become a free agent this winter. With Iglesias in-house, Iott writes that “it seems abundantly clear” that the Tigers will not have any interest in re-signing him.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.