Morosi: Yankees have interest in Jhonny Peralta

Yankees announce 2014 Spring Training schedule
Random Thoughts: Rule 5 Draft, IFAs, Payroll

Via Jon Morosi: The Yankees are showing interest in free agent infielder Jhonny Peralta. I looked at him as a target last week and he’s a pretty great fit for their needs on the left side of the infield. New York will continue to look for infield help even after giving Derek Jeter a new contract and agreeing to re-sign Brendan Ryan.

Peralta, 31, hit .303/.358/.457 (123 wRC+) with eleven homers in 448 plate appearances for the Tigers this season while also missing 50 games due to a Biogenesis-related suspension. He has played shortstop exclusively the last three years but has a couple thousand innings worth of experience at third base as well. The obstacle is convincing Peralta he should come to the Yankees to bounce between short and third rather than play one set position with another team. Stephen Drew took less money from the Red Sox last winter to avoid that kind of situation in New York.

Yankees announce 2014 Spring Training schedule
Random Thoughts: Rule 5 Draft, IFAs, Payroll
  • Roadgeek Adam

    Peralta would do better in Willets Point given the playing time.

  • Dro413

    Go for it! He’s a clutch hitter, I’ve always liked his game. Sign him!

  • TWTR

    I realize everything George King writes is suspect, but if they really have an interest in adding Ibanez to this aging team, they need a roster construction intervention.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      For purely DH slop? I’d take the reunion. I don’t need my part-time bench pieces to be young pups.

      That being said, this is the first I’ve heard of this.

      • TWTR

        They have numerous players on the roster to DH, including Jeter and maybe A-Rod.

        They are at a point at which they need to give young players AB, somewhere, anywhere

        And Ibanez’s OPS was below .700 in August and below .750 in Sept.


        • Mac

          They’ve been linked to every good FA out there. I’d wait until they sign someone to get all worked up. And if they do sign him you might not want to get too worked up about grabbing a strong bench bat on what will likely be a very modest deal anyway.

          Showing his performance for the last two months of the season doesn’t do what you think it does, by the way.

          • TWTR

            Referencing King’s poor credibility is hardly a sign of being worked up.

            But if somehow they do, I don’t view him making the bench strong, merely even older.

            Actually with a player who will be 42 next season, he does.

            • Mac

              Better and younger are not synonyms.

              Why do you care about the age of the bench more than its productivity?

              • TWTR

                That sounds like what might be in a weird sports fortune cookie.

                But…having a good chance to get better and younger are.

                Because this team is in transition, and as a result, development should be a guiding principle in every marginal roster position.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  They need to get better AND younger. Also, they need to improve…..from an 85-win team. Let’s not forget that. This is not the ’62 Mets we’re talking about.

                  If I’m going to be graduating guys to the bigs, I’d much rather them be players able to play every day. On my bench can be guys who have enough experience ton pick up a bat every four days and not lose practice/development.

                • Mac

                  You’re making a lot of questionable assumptions.

                  The first big one is that young players should be given MLB spots whether they earn them or not. Questionable for a number of reasons including the disincentives it creates and that you’re actively trying to make your team worse for someone who you may or may not ever have a chance to help it.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I disagree with the “somewhere, anywhere” part. The team should get younger, but having a vet off the bench who can also DH on those days you’re not rotating someone through the spot isn’t going to hinder someone’s development. If that’s where you’re breaking someone in, they’re not off to a god start.

          It’s all for nothing, though. I don’t see an Ibanez reunion happening.

    • 302w

      They’re done well selecting cheap role players though, I think it’s one of the reasons they had an ok season despite the injuries last year.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Seems pricey for what the team needs at the position right now but, hey, it’d be a sign they’re truly not letting money get in the way.

    Can’t wait until we’re not talking about the celery cap, whenever that winds up being. Can’t come soon enough.

    • Mac

      I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re approaching him as a starting 3B with the assumption that A-Rod is suspended with the back-up plan of a SS/3B/DH rotation if A-Rod for any portion of the season A-Rod isn’t suspended. Maybe Peralta is only looking for one year deals to build value in the wake of the biogenesis scandal, but if it’s a multi-year deal maybe they shift him back to primarily SS next year when both Jeter and Ryan are FAs.

      Peralta is one of the best FAs (the best?) who doesn’t have pick compensation attached. Coupled with his versatility, would probably be a good pick-up. All else equal I’d probably rather get him and roll the dice on a cheaper corner OF than vice versa when Ellsbury and Choo are looking for so much money.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Yeah, I agree. He does offer some versatility there, and i do think it’s be prudent to proceed as if Alex is missing all of 2014.

        • I’m One

          I believe Peralta is looking for a multi-year deal, but not giving up a draft pick is a plus for him.

          I also agree that I’d try to sell him on being the full time 3B with the back-up option of 3B/SS/DH if A-Rod is not suspended for the full season and then starting SS in ’15. Sell him on the versatility aspect of doing this. But, they will have to pay him to get this done.

          Like I said previously, gamble on a full season suspension for A-Rod and spend the bucks. If he’s not suspended the full season, bite the bullet and pay the luxury tax & revenue sharing and plan better for the $189M budget in the future.

          • Mac

            I still don’t know that they have to gamble on A-Rod to do this.

            The two most comparable FAs from last off-season signed on Dec 7 (Pagan) and Dec 13 (Victorino). That’s 2 and 3 years after a Tgiving conclusion to the hearing.

            You can also just have the strength of your offense in the IF and gamble on a couple of lower-priced OF options to stay under $189. Or you can trade for a cost controlled OF.

  • CashmanNinja

    I’m torn on Peralta because I like his power and he doesn’t cost a pick, but he’s going to cost a bit of money because he’ll market himself as a SS, and he’s been linked to Biogenesis. He supposedly wants 3/$45 mil and I can see him getting something close to that. Maybe not quite 15 a year, but I could see a team giving him 3/39 or something similar — not quite what he wants, but enough where a team feels they “won” and got a slight bargain. Considering Ruiz just got a ton for being old and having his own troubles…I think the market is going to be expensive for players that aren’t linked to draft picks.

    But there is one point I agree with and that’s going after a cheaper OF. I really like Choo, but I simply don’t view him as a $100 mil player. I view him as Nick Swisher who hits for a tad less power, a bit higher average, and a little faster on the bases. Swisher is worth half of what Boras wants for Choo, so I’d rather just say no. If Choo were a little younger then I would roll the dice, but not at this point in time. I know Beltran is older still, and tied to a draft pick, but I’d feel more comfortable getting him for 3 years instead because I do think he is a ‘clutch’ guy, hits for average, can still play alright defense, and actually WANTS to be here. He’s wanted to be here so badly and I think this is as good a time as any.

    As for Ibanez I think it all comes down to price tag. He hit more homers than Cano did last year. It’s the highest his value has been in years. I simply feel that another team would be willing to shell out a few more bucks to have him be their full time DH. I think he’d rather go there for more money than come back here in a very limited role. Plus I don’t think it’d be wise to spend a lot of money on a guy who will only get a few at bats a week. If he’s going to cost $5 mil I’d rather just invest that money in a closer like Joe Nathan and sign another guy for cheap to fill in as a situational lefty/righty guy.

    • TWTR

      Why do they need to spend $5m for a closer when Robertson has pitched so well and should be able to handle the role?

      If $189m is their goal, their primary needs are (young) offense and starting pitcher.

      • MikeG

        I think the point is that we’ve lost an elite reliever in Mo that we need to replace regardless of what inning he pitches. Whether or not Robertson steps up as the closer or remains in the 8th inning, there’s still a huge void that needs to be filled within the bullpen as well.

    • Mac

      Peralta isn’t a slam dunk at 3/45, but I think I’d do it. He is inconsistent offensively, and has been below average 3 of the last 5 seasons. Still, he’s totaled a 107 wRC+ in Detroit the last 3.5 years and Steamer has him at about league average in 2014. That would be perfect at SS, but is still decent at 3B. Since he’s been a solid defender you’re probably looking at Prado (2.4 fWAR, 103 wRC+, 4.1 Def) to Frazier (3.3 fWAR, 100 wRC+, 11.7 Def) type of production. Then he has the flexibility to play SS, 3B, or both going forward.

      I’d probably take Peralta over Beltran (not that they necessarily have to choose). I think you are mistaken in saying that Beltran can still play alright defense. He is the 7th worst defensive OF in baseball the last three seasons according to fan graphs:,a He’s a better hitter than Peralta, but also 5 years older and basically a DH.

      I don’t see Ibanez getting a raise at his age, but who knows. Some team might Marlon Byrd him, but he’s 5 years old, can’t defend, and I don’t see the other big market AL teams being big players in the DH market.
      I will bet you $5 million that you’re not getting Joe Nathan for $5 million, though. Fangraphs has him pegged at 2 years $26 million or something. He was one of the best RP in baseball last season.

      • CashmanNinja

        If we could convince Peralta to play the hot corner then I wouldn’t mind so much 3/$45 because the only other way to get a 3rd baseman anywhere near his caliber would be via trade, and the price tag would be way too high. Plus one of the most frequently talked about is Chase Headley would also require a huge contract to boot. I wouldn’t hate Peralta, but I’m hoping they could get him to lower his asking price. I’d take him over Drew though because I do not want the Sox to get any sort of compensation from us – nor do I really feel Drew is worth it. I think he’s been too inconsistent to net a big deal.

        As for Beltran’s defense, perhaps it wasn’t as good as I remember…but I’ve seen him play a decent amount over the last couple of years and he’s at least passed the eye test for me. That’s not saying he gets to every ball that is capable of being caught, but I don’t recall him routinely taking bad routes/botching plays. I could be mistaken, but he didn’t look as bad as the numbers would indicate. Just like I actually think Granderson is worse than his numbers would say. There were times when Granderson played extremely shallow and let balls go over his head or his noodle arm would allow guys to advance bases. You’d think he’d be a stud since he’s still got some good speed, but I don’t think we’d lose much replacing Grandy with Beltran.

        Now as for Nathan, I wasn’t suggesting we’d get Nathan for $5 mil. It was more like $5 mil TOWARDS getting Nathan. I was thinking like $12 mil (a little more than he got in Texas, but slightly less than what a qualifying offer would be). It’s in the middle and I think that’s fair considering how Nathan has been over the last few years — minus that injury plagued season. I just really like Joe Nathan and think he’d be great in pinstripes. And the market for Ibanez will be rather limited, but all it takes is 1 team to see that he’s been hitting for power the last few years and take a little risk on signing him. $5 mil for a 20-30 HR guy isn’t too bad, but add in his age and inability to do anything else and then it’s a little pricey. I’d rather re-sign Mark Reynolds for cheap and use him as a situational guy.

        • Mac

          My guess is they’re looking at Peralta as a 3B for 2013. They have Jeter and Ryan at SS, vs. Adams, I suppose Nunez, and now Zelous Wheeler as their 3B options right now.
          Wouldn’t worry about giving Boston something with Drew, just about whether he’s worth the contract. Boston is almost definitely getting a pick for him regardless of what the Yankees do. There is no point in hurting your team by not getting a player you want our of principle. In the end you wouldn’t actually be hurting Boston since they’d get their pick, and you would be hurting yourself if you wanted to sign Drew.

          Defense is difficult to judge with your eyes. Especially if you’re not watching a ton of his games. Being a bad defender isn’t necessarily about bad routes or misplaying balls. Beltran was once a very good defender, in CF no less, so this isn’t the case for him. It’s just about having one out of every so many balls fall in for hits that most OF would have gotten to.

          Fair enough on Nathan. I would rather see a set-up guy brought in for under $5 million than a closer brought in for $12 million, personally, but to each their own.

          I don’t know if Reynolds will ultimately be much cheaper than Reynolds, but we’ll see. The most recent season does tend to get overvalued, but at Ibanez’s age and given his limitations I don’t know if that will be the case. Maybe the Mariners give him a raise to stick out another losing season. Reynolds got paid twice as much as Ibanez on the open market last season. I don’t know if that will be the case again, but their relative markets might not have changed radically in one season with Reynolds having rescued his season a bit in NY and Ibanez having just played horribly in the field.

  • mt

    As far as Ibanez, I wonder if the Yankees’ interest (assuming reports of that interest are accurate) is only if Cano does not come back and Yanks will try to replenish some of the power lost by Cano’s departure at a relatively cheap price with Ibanez.

    Given how late Cano may sign in order to make sure he gets all the offers from other teams that he can, Yanks may need to come up with something rather quickly if he ultimately decides to go to another team – I would assume the McCanns, Choos, and Beltrans of the world will all be gone by then so Ibanez (assuming he is still available) may look pretty good at that point.

    I have continued to say that the timing of this dance (Arod suspension announcement, free agent signings, Cano re-signing or departure) is very delicate and may do as much to screw the Yankees as the actual $189 mm budget plan will.

    As for Peralta, wouldn’t it be ironic if one Biogenesis guy played 3B while the poster child for Biogenesis – Arod – is on suspension?

    I have maintained I do not see Drew walking into this playing time situation where Jeter the icon is still claiming he can play shortstop – Peralta at both 3b/SS may entertain Yankees since he doubles the possible playing time with Arod’s suspension/age along with Jeter’s need to be rested. Unfortunately we might have to overpay a little to compensate Peralta for this uncertainty. I would hate if Peralta went to Mets who have a starting SS job to hand out to Perlata (don’t care as much about losing Drew since I don’t see him coming to Yanks at all and we also would lose the first round poick for Drew – I don’t want to lose that pick except for McCann or Choo.)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      If we’re relying on Ibanez that much, then I side with TWTR above. :)

  • Neil

    No to Peralta at anywhere near $45/3. I’d rather sign McCann at 20 – 25 mil per year to play C and have Nunez play 3B as a worst case 3B situation.

    I’d only look to sign Choo if Cano goes elsewhere.

  • Mike HC

    Like you alluded too, I don’t see why Peralta would come to the Yanks with Jeter and ARod looming over his shoulder. Plus, I don’t think the Yanks have the incentive to outbid other teams who don’t have like 100 mil committed to the left side of infield. Not to mention the “don’t call it a mandate, call it a goal” 189 budget.

    • Mike HC

      to, too, two, 2 …

    • Mac

      If they’re fairly confident A-Rod is suspended all season then I see plenty of incentive. In that case Adams is atop their depth chart at 3B this season and Nunez is atop their depth chart at SS next season. Generally speaking IFs who can hit are harder to come by than OFs who can hit, so there’s an argument to be made that all else equal they should use their resources in the IF rather than OF.

  • CA Dave

    Which Peralta are we talking about? With or without steroids? I wouldn’t want to see without. Hope Yanks stay clear, it’s already hard enough to root for them.