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.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.