Reports indicate, as of Saturday night that the St. Louis Cardinals are close on a multi-year contract with former Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
I'm totally shocked.
The good news, should this deal come together, is that the Redbirds wouldn't have to give up a draft pick to sign Peralta. That's because Detroit didn't think enough of him to tender a qualifying offer that could have tied them to a one-year deal at $14 million plus. Also, if the Cardinals sign Peralta as a free agent it puts an end to the ridiculous hold-up attempts from other teams who'll gladly offer their back-up shortstop for Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Oscar Taveras.
I'd grown extremely tired of hearing other team's fans opine that 22-year-old power pitcher Miller (15-9, 3.06) wasn't nearly enough in exchange for J.J. Hardy, a 31-year-old shortstop in the last year of his current contract.
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The bad news is that the Redbirds are apparently going to pay way too much for way too long to a guy who doesn't exactly fit the Cardinals mode as a sound player in terms of both character and fundamentals.
He averages 136 strikeouts a year, hits into far too many double plays, is a bit on the pudgy side for a shortstop, he's only hit better than .276 three times in an 11-year career and then there is the whole issue of his 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drug use.
People love to hoot and holler about Mark McGwire and make accusations about Albert Pujols. But the fact remains that no Cardinals player has ever been busted for using PED's while a member of the Redbirds.
According to a CBS report, a rival GM who has offered $52 million to Peralta for four years was told that his bid wasn't even in the ballpark. What could the Cardinals be offering? It makes me sick to think about it.
If the Birds could sign Peralta for one year on a make-good deal I'd be thrilled. If he turns out to be a drug-fueled mirage, the Cardinals could walk away and start from square one in 2015. But if they're offering Peralta a huge, five-year deal, he's going to prevent St. Louis from signing a player who could make a difference in 2017 or 2018.
I would prefer that the Redbirds hold their ground and start next season with Pete Kozma at short before they make a half-decade mistake.
Maybe the Cardinals are playing games to try to drive down the demands of a trade partner. But I'm afraid that's wishful thinking. So I suppose all there is left for me to do is take my six-year-old son outside to field some grounders. Because even if he's disinterested and average, he ought to be able to pull down $15 million a year as an MLB shortstop.