Officially the Tigers haven’t made a decision yet on whether they’ll allow Jhonny Peralta to rejoin the team once his 50-game suspension is over on September 26, but the shortstop is set to begin working out with the team again.
Here’s what the Tigers said on the topic yesterday in a statement:
There has been no decision made regarding Peralta’s return to the active roster. It is an organizational decision to allow Jhonny to workout with the club in order to see if it will be in the best interest of the team to have him return at the end of his suspension.
In other words, if he looks good and like he can help the team they’ll let him play once the suspension is over, which makes it performance-based rather than morality-based. And that’s fine, especially since the Rangers plan to have Nelson Cruz on the playoff roster once he returns from the same Biogenesis-related suspension.
How much he’ll play is another issue, as slick-fielding rookie Jose Iglesias has taken over at shortstop since being acquired from the Red Sox to fill in for Peralta and the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera at third base and Omar Infante at second base. Most likely he’d fill a part-time bench role.
Peralta hit .305 with 11 homers, 29 doubles, and an .822 OPS in 104 games before the suspension and the 31-year-old is an impending free agent.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.