The best news about the Jhonny Peralta deal so far:
The Cardinals smartly front-loaded the deal, according to CBS sports. Peralta gets $15.5 million in 2014, $15 million in 2015, $12.5 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017.
That's going to look better on paper as a player in his 30s starts to age and slow down. But the real benefit is that the Cardinals shaved more than $30 million off their payroll for the upcoming season with the retirement of Chris Carpenter and the expiration of contracts paid to Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Jake Westbrook.
The Cardinals just don't have a lot of expensive needs right now. But as their young players start to work their way up through arbitration and the payroll gets higher, Peralta's deal will give them some flexibility.
Of course the dangerous part of such a deal is the possibility that a player with a short memory forgets that he was overpaid in the front portion of the pact and looks around to see that in the third and fourth years of the deal that he's getting paid less than several of his teammates. But Peralta, Frankly, ought to be grateful for such a generous deal after his 2013 performance enhancing drug suspension.
The players association always discounts deals with deferred money because a player loses the potential benefit of being able to gain income on money that could have otherwise been invested. So Peralta needs to count his blessings because, if he's smart, he can invest that up front cash and have a couple of years worth of returns that he otherwise wouldn't have had.
To be cynical, the pact will likely encourage Peralta to stay away from the PEDs when he's younger and more naturally productive because he isn't going to want to miss out on the big pay days in the first two years.