November 24, 2013

Peralta to Cardinals? I bet they overpaid; or maybe not?

After having just praised Cardinals GM John Mozeliak for his trade of David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Angels for Peter Bourjos and minor league prospect Randal Grichuk, this is his follow-up? Actually, as I think more, it's not bad.

The terms are official. To fill the Pete Kozma at shortstop hole, the Cards signed the Detroit TigersJhonny Peralta, who reportedly had been trying to price himself out of the market, at short, rather than Stephen Drew.

At 4 years and $52 million, if it is an overpay, it's not a big one.

That said, it appears Jon Heyman of CBS, below, either misunderstood Peralta's camp, or got "used" a bit. The Cards may have had a slight overpay, but nothing serious.

That said, per what I see at MLBTradeRumors, this IS an overpay:
7:26pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that one team who offered Peralta four years and $52MM was told they're "not even in [the] game."
But, as noted, Heyman was either wrong or confused.

That said, it may be a mild overpay, but not a horrific one. And, per the Cards' history with Michael Wacha for Albert Pujols, it might not be an overpay at all. The Red Sox tendered Drew, so the Cards would have had to give up a draft pick for him. Not so with Peralta.

In any case, if this is true, this means the Birds won't resign Rafael Furcal. For better or worse, it means they're out of the Troy Tulowitzki trade hunt with the Rockies . That, in turn, means none of the current starters are likely to be traded, so no sweat over losing Shelby MillerTrevor Rosenthal or Carlos Martinez,

Plus, with Freese gone, the Cards don't face any major free-agent decisions for a couple of years. And, with the comp pick for whomever signs Beltran, the Birds can look for another 2B, 3B and catcher, among other things.

Another good sign? Among likely landing points in his free agency, Peralta reportedly wanted to go to St. Louis.

And, let me give Mo one more bit of credit. Heyman says the contract is front-loaded, not back-loaded:
Peralta contract terms: $15.5M in '14, $15M in '15, $12.5M in '16, $10M in '17. rare frontloaded pact.
That means more money available in later years for arbitration, etc., for the young gun pitchers.

And Bernie Miklasz has a good wrap-up on what Peralta brings to the table, why the Cards were smart to act now, and various and sundry thoughts on the PEDs issue.

Speaking of, here's my take on whether or not there's any ethics issues that violate the mystical Cardinal Way, more thoughts on it probably NOT being an overpay, and related.

Meanwhile, in my poll, he finished third in popularity, behind Profar then Drew, and just a touch ahead of Tulo. I'll replace that with another.

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