Report: Cardinals set to sign Jhonny Peralta for short

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11:15 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi says it’s expected to be a four-year pact between the Cardinals and Peralta.

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A source told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that the Cardinals and shortstop Jhonny Peralta are “closing in” on a deal.

The word Friday from MLB.com’s Peter Gammons was that Peralta already had a four-year, $52 million contract offer on the table.

It seems like a very steep price to pay for a steroid-aided 31-year-old who has finished with OPSs in the .700 range three of the last five years. Peralta did hit an improved .303/.358/.457 last season when he wasn’t serving his 50-game Biogenesis suspension. His defense is fine, according to the numbers, but it’s certainly not going to get any better at his age. Some teams were believed to be considering him as an outfielder, not a shortstop.

That’s obviously not what the Cardinals are planning; they desperately need to upgrade from Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso at shortstop. Peralta will do that, but his signing hardly seems like a typical Cardinals move, especially if he’s going to be earning in the neighborhood of $50 million.

Report: Phillies interested in Adrian Beltre

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In his latest column for MLB.com, Jon Morosi reports that the Phillies have interest in potentially trading for Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. While Beltre’s bat would be a help, Morosi notes that the Phillies are just as interested in his professionalism for their otherwise young roster.

Beltre, 39, has been on the disabled list twice already this season due to calf injuries. When he’s been in the lineup, he has managed a .302/.357/.428 triple-slash line along with three home runs and 22 RBI in 182 plate appearances. Beltre is in the last year of his contract, earning $18 million, so he would be a rental for the Phillies.

Third base has been a problem for the Phillies. Their composite .699 OPS from their third basemen is 25th-best in baseball. Maikel Franco has seen the most time at third base, but Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford (currently on the disabled list) have also seen time there. The Phillies are getting to a point where they may turn the page on Franco, who was once one of the organization’s top prospects. Kingery should see regular time at shortstop with Crawford on the disabled list, so adding a rental third baseman makes sense for the team as presently constructed. The Phillies have also been linked to Manny Machado, but it would make more sense for the club to pursue him in free agency rather than acquire him as a rental.