It took less than 24 hours following the initial reports but the St. Louis Cardinals officially announced that Jhonny Peralta will be the organization’s next shortstop. This provides a stopgap for the club to not only develop a shortstop in the organization to take over following the end of the four year agreement but it also puts an end to the revolving door at shortstop. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but media reports have the agreement as being 4 years at $52-53 million.
Oct 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) before game four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Image Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
“We are pleased to announce that Jhonny has agreed to terms and I know he is equally excited to be joining the Cardinals,” Cardinals Senior V.P./General Manager John Mozeliak announced in a statement from the team. “Jhonny is among the game’s top offensive shortstops, he’s a steady defender and he has experience playing for a contender. He gives us proven veteran experience and brings balance and versatility to our everyday lineup.”
The 31-year-old has a lifetime .268 batting average with 156 home runs and 698 RBI in 1,383 career games with Cleveland Indians (2003-10) and Detroit Tigers (2010-13). Last season, he hit .303 with 30 doubles, 11 home runs and 55 RBI for the Tigers. His numbers were good enough to earn a selection to the American League All-Star team–his second selection in three seasons.
Amongst active shortstops, the right-hander is 5th in both slugging (.430) and on-base + slugging (.702) since 2010. He’s hit 25 or more doubles in every season since 2005. His .765 career OPS is ranked 8th amongst active shortstops.
In addition to Peralta’s offensive upgrade at the position, he’s been amongst the top shortstops in the American League when it comes to fielding percentage. In five of the previous eight seasons, Peralta has finished in the top three. His .980 career fielding percentage is 5th amongst current shortstops. This past season, he had a .991 mark.
The veteran, suspended for 50 games this year, also acknowledged his mistake and took full responsibility for his actions.