The St. Louis Cardinals were not the only team that was trying to sign Jhonny Peralta during the off-season.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post found out that he was the #1 candidate for the New York Mets when it came to the shortstop position. When the Mets met with Peralta in a face to face meeting, they offered him a deal for two years according to Sherman. It is believed, though, that the Cardinals already had their four-year deal in place when Peralta met with the Mets.
While it is possible that the Mets offered only two years due to the Biogenesis scandal that broke during the early part of the 2013 season, there’s no telling how much money they were willing to pay him.
And Peralta will play third. There have been questions about whether Peralta has the range to hold up at short, though advanced defensive metrics are generally kind to him. The Cardinals did front-load his $53 million deal, paying him $30.5 million in 2014-15. Thus, if they have to put him on the trade market him after the 2015 campaign as a third baseman – a position the Yankees were willing to give him a three-year contract to play – they will do so with Peralta owed just two years at $22.5 million.
A trade would not surprise me. If someone like an Oscar Mercado is ready to hit the big leagues after the 2015 season, the Cardinals could certainly afford to part with Peralta. If not Mercado, I would expect that the Cardinals would select the best shortstop available during this summer’s MLB Draft. The organization is stacked with pitching more so than the middle infield position. That said, it is apparent by now that Aledmys Diaz, the overhyped Cuban prospect depending on who you talk to, will not be the short stop of the future. Diaz, who was supposed to have chosen a team by February 22, is still a free agent.