Reports today have been linking the Orioles as having an interest in Jhonny Peralta as a left fielder for the Birds. Among others also having interest in the 31-year-old’s services?… Who else? The Yankees, of course – primarily as insurance for short and third.
It would be a pricey move for the Birds, as it appears he is seeking a three-year deal in the range of 45 million.
I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t Peralta one of those Biogenesis scandal guys?” Yes, there is that.
But there is also a guy who was an all-star in two of the past three seasons, who, at the time of his suspension from playing with the Tigers was batting .303 with an OBP of .358 and 11 homers. I remember him being one very tough out … but that might be how I remember all Tigers players in recent years. Actually, just looking it up – he was 8 for 22 against the Orioles this season.
The bulk of Peralta’s career has been at shortstop, with a number of games also at third base and a few in the outfield. But here is the intriguing element about this: If the Birds were to sign him for three years and then lose J.J. Hardy, Peralta could move back to his primary position. And perhaps Henry Urrutia could be ready by then to play daily in left field?
I have to say that I like this move better than others that have been rumored – like Carlos Beltran for example. And though I’m appreciative of the play of Nate McLouth during his sojourn in black and orange, I can’t be counted as in his corner necessarily for the long run. Yet at the same time, a look at Peralta’s numbers shows some inconsistency and ups and downs from year to year.
As always – regarding Peralta or any free agent of substance – the question is how the Orioles can make the dollars work.
And then about the issue of the Biogenesis … call me too much of a grace-oriented softie, but perhaps the atmosphere of the Orioles clubhouse would be particularly redemptive for this fellow.