Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta is seeking $56-75 million on a four- or five-year deal, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The former Tiger has drawn interest from a handful of teams, including the Mets and Yankees, but he might have to settle for less to sign a deal.
Earlier, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted that the Orioles have some interest in Peralta as a left fielder. The Orioles could also trade shortstop J.J. Hardy to open up a spot for Peralta at his natural position.
Peralta just wrapped up a two-year, $11.25 million contract with the Tigers, so the average annual value jump from $5.6 million to $14-15 million is quite severe. Nevertheless, we have already seen some free agents get bigger contracts than expected — the Phillies gave 36-year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd a two-year, $16 million contract, and soon-to-be 35-year-old catcher Carlos Ruiz a three-year, $26 million deal. The Royals gave below-average starter Jason Vargas a four-year, $32 million deal. The Giants gave 36-year-old reliever Javier Lopez a three-year, $13 million deal. Given that, it’s difficult to view Peralta’s desired contract as outlandish.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.