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Reports: Jhonny Peralta, Cards Reach $52 Million Deal

The Mets have apparently lost on out their alleged top free agent target — reports say Jhonny Peralta has reached a deal with the Cardinals that will pay him a little more than $52 million over the next for years. Good luck with that, St. Louis.

jhonny peralta
Mets reportedly lose out on free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Peralta is a good hitter, very good for a shortstop; he has topped 20 home runs four times in his career. Last year he hit .303. Of course, he only played in 107 games last season because he accepted a 50-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

So Jhonny Peralta is an admitted juicer. Who knows how long he has been using PEDs? His entire career? It certainly is a possibility.

So to pay him $13 million per season and tie yourself to him for four years is a tremendous risk. What if he is a mediocre hitter while clean? That is a large check to write if he turns into a weak-hitting shortstop who never was particularly good defensively.

Plus, Jhonny Peralta will turn 32 early in the 2014 season. He will be 35 in the final year of his contract. That could be a mess.

I would have been comfortable with Peralta on the Mets on a two-year, $16 million contract. That seems appropriate; it is still something of a risk, but they would not have been tying up franchise-changing money on a player who could fail without PEDs.

But in a thin shortstop market and MLB flush with national TV cash, Peralta was able to command this type of deal. Surprisingly, it came from the Cardinals, which is normally the model for fiscal restraint and smart spending. It could be a long four years in St. Louis.

9 thoughts on “Reports: Jhonny Peralta, Cards Reach $52 Million Deal

  • He was supposedly clean in the playoffs and he hit the ball okay for the Tigers plus he demonstrated he play left field. His hitting makes up for his below average defense and he’ll fit in with the Cards. They have a system. Win win for the Cards.

  • Mark Berman

    You could be right, Phil, but don’t forget, Peralta had two months off to rest up for the playoffs. What happens during the grind of a full season when he doesn’t have his precious PEDs?

  • Brett

    You realize he got caught for PEDS in 2012, right, and then proceeded to have his worst season ever? Last year, when he passed tests, he did better. Just saying. So it looks like he did just fine “without his precious PEDS.” Cardinals fans realize his last two years might not be great. But we needed a SS and the rest of MLB tried to hold us hostage. That didn’t work out. Besides, you weren’t getting him for 2/16 anyway. He claims he took a “deal” to play in St. Louis at 4/52 and was asking 5/75 of everyone else.

  • Mark Berman

    Good point, Brett, about the timing of when he got caught. But who’s to say he was clean this season? None of the Biogenesis guys ever tested positive, so obviously they were taking things that beat the testing. Perhaps Peralta still had a supply and was using it this season so he could have a good year and score a huge contract. We’ll never know.

    Also, I never said I thought the Mets would get him for two years, $16 million. I was just saying what my own personal level of comfort would have been.

  • Mark, I agree with your thoughts. In my opinion, the Mets need a Rey Ordonez or a Bud Harrelson type of player at Short. I think everyone is losing sight of the fact that Daniel Murphy (average at best) is at second and Duda (an absolute butcher) will be at first base. The Mets blew a ton of low scoring games last year because their infield was brutal.

    I think we can all agree that the Mets will be offensively “challenged” again this season SOOOOO, they better be able to compete with their pitching and defense. Hopefully win more of those 3-2, 2-1 games than they lose. Thus the need for a “quick fix sponge” at short.

    I think another side to the Cardinals and Jhonny P signing, is to how Matt Carpenter will fare at third base now that they’ve dealt David Freese.

    Adams at first is an average fielder (at best), they’ll have that kid who got picked off and started crying at 2B, Peralta at SS (average), and Carpenter for a full year at 3B. A lot of grey area.

    Bourjous is a good player but I thought All World prospect Oscar Tavares was next in line once Beltran moved on. So the Cardinals now have Holliday, Jay, Bourjous, Craig and Tavares in the outfield mix. I wish the Mets had this problem.

  • Met Fan 4 Ever

    With Duda at first you can have Don Kessinger playing shortstop and our infield will still be a mess.

  • Hey – Mr. Met Fan 4 Ever;

    Don Kessinger? No self respecting Met fan would ever utter that name, no matter how valid your point. AND besides, having played a ton of Strat-O-Matic back in the day, I know that Kessinger was a 2 while Harrelson was a 1!!

  • Mark Berman

    I also would like to see a solid defensive shortstop, JJ. Remember how the entire complexion (not literally!) of the team changed when Eric Young replaced Lucas Duda in right field and Juan Lagares took over in center? Having good defenders out there just made the Mets a better team. That’s why the Mets just might live with Ruben Tejada at short. Although if he has four errors in the first week like of 2014 like he did this season he will be banished to the minors forever.

  • as jj mentioned, the cardinals have a surplus of outfielders, so why not look for one of their extras?

    also i like the plan of strong defense and pitching (which has been alderson’s plan supposedly), and it makes sense for citi field. the problem with the mets is that they pinch pennies too much and try to “beat the market” which very rarely works. The Mets try too hard to fit their “mold” and it doesn’t work because every player has different strengths and weaknesses and the team doesn’t try to show the strengths while masking the weaknesses. Take duda for example, he has a lot of power and good obp (b/c he doesn’t swing), but the mets ignore his strikeout numbers and defense. From a power hitting first baseman, i don’t care if he strikeouts out if he’s hitting for power, but duda doesn’t hit for nearly enough power. As much as it pains me to say this, i think the mets could build a team with duda in the plans (although i am against trying that plan). the mets would need to, as discussed, put good defense around him. the mets aren’t this creative though, so we see a bunch of mismatched parts trying to use the same approach, and every team realizes this and gameplans around it.

    i’m not a gm/coach and the mets have so many holes that it’s hard to come up with one solid model for them to follow, especially with so much uncertainty. But considering what the mets have in wright, d’arnaud, murph, and lagares, i think it would do them well to add one power bat and fill the other spots with strong defense (and hopefully if i’m not being too greedy, some of these hitters have the ability to hit for doubles and rbi’s). Again, it’s up to alderson to choose which players, and i’m not going to throw names out there b/c it seems like different players are or aren’t available each day, but i think it’s possible to put together a solid club for 2014 with something to look forward to for 2015 and on

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