The Cardinals yesterday announced the signing of free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta, a move made to fill a glaring hole in the Redbirds’ offense. Peralta is coming off a season in which he hit .303/.358/.457 with 11 HR and 55 RBI–his best production since 2011. Peralta looked comfortable at the plate, drove the ball to the opposite way, and had a knack for timely hits last season. However, his numbers in 2013 would have been more impressive had he not been suspended 50 games by MLB for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.
While many MLB fans are up in arms about rewarding an admitted steroid user with a hefty contract (plenty of merit to that grievance), I’m more upset at the contract itself; over the next four years, the 31-year-0ld Peralta will make $52M.
Details are still coming in, but if what everything we’ve heard is true, the Tigers have traded first baseman Prince Fielder and $30M to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. The money will help Texas pay for the rest of Fielder’s contract, as he is still owed $168 in base salary.
This winter, second baseman Robinson Cano will likely join the elite club of MLB’ers to earn a contract exceeding $100 million. Cano has deserved the contract that he will receive–a career line of .309/.355/.504, with the ability to hit 30 home runs and drive in 120+ RBIs is definitely worthy of such recognition. Tack on two Gold Glove awards and an MVP trophy, and it’s clear why Cano is this year’s top free agent.
He obviously deserves the paycheck that he will get from whichever team antes up the most money, but a GM that wants to make that kind of investment in one player needs to know what he’s getting into. In my opinion, devoting that much money to Cano over what will likely be upwards of five or six years is too great of a risk to undertake.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski basically guaranteed the baseball world when he said that Drew Smyly would be in the starting rotation in 2014. Unless he and new manager Brad Ausmus have a 6-man rotation in the works (which they don’t), one of the Tigers’ starting five from 2013 will be on his way out.
Much ado has been made by Cardinals fans about who the starting shortstop will be in 2014. I think it’s pretty safe to say that after Pete Kozma put up an uninspiring (and downright bad) line of .217/.275/.273, GM John Mozeliak will look elsewhere for 2014 services.
The Tigers finished the 2013 season with 93 victories and an American League Central crown. They rallied to knock off a pesky Oakland Athletics team in the ALDS, and hung with the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. For just about any other team, 2013 would have been a rousing success, and a source of optimism for years to come.
Just not for the Detroit Tigers.