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.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.