As the off-season continues, we continue to take a look at possible free agents that the Dodgers could sign for the 2014 season.
Today, we take a look at an infielder with some power that could take over the vacancy at third base:
Peralta is a 31-year-old infielder that spent 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. In his major league career, Peralta has a career average of .268 with 156 home runs and 698 RBI in 11 seasons.
Peralta missed 50 games of the season after an MLB investigation into a clinic involved with performance-enhancing drugs; however, he played in 107 games and hit .303 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI. He also added 30 doubles, as he spent his pre-suspension games as the Tigers’ shortstop before moving to left field upon his return.
Peralta is primarily a shortstop, but has played over 200 games at third base in his career. The Dodgers would need him to play third, but having that flexibility to move him around is beneficial if Hanley Ramirez ever needs a break. Peralta’s experiment in left field also enhances his value, as it gives him another position he can play if needed.
In his career, Peralta has been known more for his offensive skills. He’s hit at least 30 doubles in six seasons and has nine double-digit home run seasons. Peralta hasn’t slowed down with age, evidenced by his .303 average last season and hitting 30 doubles in just 107 games. The Dodgers could use some offense at the hot corner and Peralta would fit the bill.
The Tigers decided not to give Peralta a qualifying offer, meaning that any team that signs him won’t have to give up a draft pick. With the premium placed on the draft these days, Peralta became that much more attractive because teams can decide to sign Peralta without anything attached to him.
Peralta is coming off a PED suspension and is now labeled a risk the rest of his career. The Tigers were forced to trade a prospect in order to receive a new shortstop after losing Peralta for 50 games. Teams don’t want to worry about the possibility of one of their starters being suspended for a significant chunk of the season.
With shortstop his natural position, Peralta hasn’t played third base since the 2010 season. He has a mediocre .966 fielding percentage in 213 games at third base and the Dodgers may not be willing to give up defense in exchange for power at third base.
At 31-years-old, Peralta is on the wrong side of his prime and his numbers may decline as a result. His PED past may leave teams skeptical of how well his body will be able to handle getting older. The Dodgers may only need one or two years of production at the position before prospect Corey Seager is ready to go, making them more likely to go after any player regardless of age.
Peralta made $6 million last year with the Tigers and could be looking for the same amount of money on a multi-year deal. Teams may decide to offer Peralta a one-year deal due to his suspension; however, outfielder Melky Cabrera was able to get a two-year deal after his suspension.
Depending on the team, Peralta could see himself getting a two-year deal worth $6-8 million a year. If teams decide to be skeptical, the 31-year-old could find himself with a one-year, incentive-laden deal with a base salary of $5 million.
Chances Dodgers Sign Him: 49%
All signs point towards Peralta being a perfect fit with the Dodgers except for the fact that the Dodgers may be inclined to re-sign Juan Uribe. Peralta beats Uribe in hitting, but Uribe owns the advantage in defense and clubhouse presence.
If the Dodgers decide to break away from Uribe, then the chances of signing Peralta significantly improve.
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