The St. Louis Cardinals fell in the World Series to the Boston Red Sox and have not been shy about remaking their roster so far this offseason. That continued on Sunday as they signed free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta to a monster contract.
The Cardinals gave the 31-year-old a four-year, $53 million deal that will see him likely taking over for Pete Kozma, whose anemic offense and spotty defense cost the team in the postseason. Peralta hit .303 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs, while also posting an OPS of .815 and a WAR of 3.3 in 2013.
Where this all gets hazy is the fact that Peralta was suspended for 50 games last season as a result of Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis case involving performance-enhancing drugs. He came back to the Detroit Tigers in late September and also played for the team in the postseason.
There will be plenty of negative reactions to the Peralta signing, since he essentially cheated and it resulted in a big raise over what he was previously making.
The Cardinals traded third baseman David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos a few days ago, and had cut $45 million off their payroll before signing Peralta.
Over his 11-year career, Peralta is a two-time All-Star with a .268 career batting average, 156 home runs and 698 RBIs.
The Tigers are set at shortstop after acquiring Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox late in the 2013 season. Clearly they saw Peralta as expendable as they didn’t even extend a qualifying offer to him after the season.