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Rays get creative in re-signing reliever Joel Peralta

Nov 20, 2012, 4:20 PM EDT

Joel Peralta AP

Tampa Bay and Joel Peralta have made official what was first reported two weeks ago, announcing a two-year, $6 million contract that also includes $2.5 million team options for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Rarely do you see two-year contracts include multiple option years, let alone more option years than the initial length of the contract, but the Rays are nothing if not creative.

In this case it seems like the 37-year-old Peralta is happy to stay in one place after bouncing around early in his career and basically said: “You give me some decent money right now and you can control me for however long I’m still a worthwhile pitcher.”

Tampa Bay grabbed Peralta off the scrap heap after he was released by Washington and over the past two seasons he’s given them 135 innings with a 3.27 ERA and 145/35 K/BB ratio for a combined price of $3 million.

  1. Jeremy T - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Wow, the Rays really like their team options. I’d have a hard time seeing a reliever who’s already 37 being good enough for the Rays to exercise those options, but it’s a really nice safety net for Tampa.

    • gibbyfan - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      Gotta love the Rays and the handful of other underdogs that somehow have enough ability/competence/whatever to hang in there against the fat cats –Would be overjoyed to see them win that division.

      • indaburg - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        Me too!

      • raysfan1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        …and even more so when they win another pennant and a WS title!

  2. yankeepunk3000 - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I’m not a huge fan of player or team options…but I LOVE options that are picked up on incentives…so how are the extra 3 years going to work? Is it just a team option or if he pitches 50 innings it gets picked up?

    • indaburg - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      An update from the same source Gleeman used:

      2013: $3M
      2014: $3M
      2015: Team option, $2.5M, no buyout
      2016: Team option, $2.5M, no buyout
      2017: Team option, $2.5M, no buyout

      No incentives or award bonuses.

    • larrytsg - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      This is similar to the mutual (team?) options that Tim Wakefieldand the Red Sox had. Basically Wakefield had a series of one year contracts at $4 million that were renewable, or had team (or was it mutual?) options for the same $4 million price tag. They ran with him like that for a number of years. Makes sense for an older pitcher…. pay him a reasomable amount of money until it just doesn’t make sense anymore. And guys like Peralta gotta love the idea of getting another $2.5 million payday. Where else are you going to get paid like that?

  3. natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Peralta wasn’t on the “scrap heap.” If you only look at his stats, he did a good job and was worth re-signing. There were other reasons he was released.

    • indaburg - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      What reasons? I’m curious and haven’t heard other reasons.

      • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        He asked for too much. He was offered one year but demanded two (he was 34 at the time, and a middle reliever coming of his best season, at that point.). Also, there was suspicion about how he achieved his results, suspicion which was well-founded.

      • pdowdy83 - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Natslady is a bit off. He didn’t have a say in the length of his contract as he was arbitration eligible. He was simply non-tendered. The Nationals were vague about why that is how it went down but in a game against the Rays this year as soon as Peralta was brought into the game Davey Johnson had the umpires check his glove and when the umpires did he was ejected.

        Davey said some guys mentioned Peralta may have been doctoring balls. I do not have any other information other than maybe the team knew he was doing it and was a 34 year old who just had a break out season and decided they would go in another direction.

      • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        pdowdy, strange as it may seem, I actually did research to confirm my impression. According to WaPo and several other sources, the Nats made a one-year offer to Peralta, which he declined, asking for a multi-year contract. It was at that point the Nats cut ties with him.

  4. natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    I love the down thumbs. You asked a question. Peralta was a marginal guy who had one full season in the majors (2007). He bounced around the minors and several teams. So even though he had a good year in 2010, the Nats only offered him one year, and he wanted more. Them’s the facts. His suspension is also a fact.

    • indaburg - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      For the record, I did not thumbs you down, natslady. I was honestly curious why you thought that and I’m not going to disrespect your opinion after you gave it. (Don’t pay much attention to thumbs up or down. Trollers gonna troll.)

      • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM

        No, inda, I didn’t think it was you. I can understand thumbs when a person is giving opinions, but when you are just stating the FACTS??? The facts are that the Nats were willing to go one year on Peralta but not more. The facts are that Peralta was suspended for pine-tar on his glove.

  5. mqcarpenter - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    This was brilliant on both parts. Reasonable price and if he starts to peeter out you leave the options.

    • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      Agree. It will be interesting to see if other teams do the same. Don’t see much downside for either party.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        Except to the greedy or delusional of course.

      • mazblast - Nov 21, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        I don’t see too many otehr teams doing something like this. In the words of the late, great Chico Marx, “We no canna do a-that. It make-a too much-a sense.”

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