Players React To Jhonny Peralta’ Lucrative Signing With Cardinals
Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a four-year, $52M contract on Sunday. Peralta, 31, was seen as one of the offseason’s best options for teams looking for a durable, consistent offensive-minded shortstop, though he comes with the added baggage of the 50-game PED suspension he served in 2013. Peralta joins fellow offenders Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz in the offseason steroid sweepstakes all cashing in on lucrative multi-year deals.
That suspension, given to Peralta due to his connection to the Biogenesis scandal, inspired some of Peralta’s peers to react in rather candid fashion. Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler pulled no punches when he tweeted his reaction:
People really don’t understand how this works. We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it’s not. So we are working on it again. — Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) November 24, 2013
Free agent pitcher David Aardsma had similar thoughts to that of Ziegler:
Apparently getting suspended for PED’s means you get a raise. What’s stopping anyone from doing it? #weneedtomakeachange
The Cardinals, however, must view Peralta’s strong 2013 (.303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs in 107 games for the Detroit Tigers) as indicative of his natural talent level sans PED use. By signing him, the left side of St. Louis’ infield has changed dramatically in the past week – third baseman David Freese was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Peter Bourjos a few days ago.
Peralta’s acquisition would seemingly move the light-hitting Pete Kozma to the bench, though it remains to be seen what the team’s official plan will be heading into the 2014 campaign.
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