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Why Would the Mariners Consider Jhonny Peralta?


Oct 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop

Jhonny Peralta

(27) cannot catch a fly ball by Boston Red Sox designated hitter

David Ortiz

(not pictured) during the fifth inning in game five of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the perplexing rumors to fly around this week ( Nelson Cruz?! Please NO), ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick may have launched the most flabbergasting one with just one word, or rather name: Peralta.

In a Nov. 12 tweet, Crasnick mentioned  that the Seattle Mariners may have interest in free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Just one more time, for emphasis, that’s former Detroit Tiger Jhonny Peralta.

Why, why you may ask, would the M’s be linked to Peralta? Don’t the M’s have their shortstop of the future in Brad Miller? Do they need a overpriced utility-player? Well, a few reasons exist.

1. The M’s are looking for a versatile utility man. Peralta is versatile, though the M’s have a couple of utility options on the roster, this past season they traded away one, Brendan Ryan, and demoted the one they had initially signed, Robert Andino.

The team doesn’t necessarily need a utility player, but signing one wouldn’t hurt either. But even though Peralta made around $6 million last year, it’s been reported he wants a multiple year deal in excess of $12 million per season. That’s far too much a utility player, and it seems a little farfetched that the M’s would consider Peralta as utility option.

2. The M’s are blowing smoke. It’s sleight of hand to redirect attention from their actual objective.

It’s a pretty standard ploy in most franchise’s arsenal, and the M’s are no different. Despite all the speculation about whether the M’s are interested in Jacoby Ellsbury or not, or if they’re making a run at Carlos Beltran, it’s more than likely that half of these rumors are about as true as a Ryan Braun apology.

In all likelihood, the M’s probably have no intention of signing Peralta, but there’s no harm in pretending that they do so that they can observe how the rumor’s ripples impact the market.

3. The M’s are looking at Peralta to play outfield. After returning from his Biogenesis suspension late last season, the Tigers, because of personnel issues, stuck Peralta in the outfield for a couple games.

But just like putting in a backup catcher to pitch in the 18th inning of a game doesn’t make him a pitcher, this doesn’t make Peralta an outfielder. It’s not a secret the M’s need an outfielder, but it would be incredibly harebrained, even for the M’s, to bring in a free agent shortstop to solve their outfield issues.

The chances of the M’s being interested in Peralta as an outfielder are about as probable as them signing Robinson Cano to play catcher, but again, it’s the M’s we’re talking about.

4. The M’s are plotting a scheme to move Brad Miller, or another one of their players who patrols the middle infield.

This is more likely than the M’s wanting Peralta for his out-fielding services, but still pure conjecture. If the M’s have some sort of trade brewing, it’s possible they’re using either Miller, Nick Franklin, or Dustin Ackley as trade bait, and this could feasibly open up a hole in the middle-infield, which would open a spot for a guy like Peralta.

Again, this unlikely, but still also intriguing.

But in the end, just looking at Peralta brings to mind the word ‘inconsistent.’ He has a career batting average of .268 and an OBP of .330, both of which aren’t horrible, but don’t exactly land him in the upper stratosphere of offensive prowess.

But that’s just his career average — this past season he hit .3o3, and in 2012 he batted .239.

Peralta’s all over the map. He does have defensive versatility, being able to move around the infield, and nominally play the outfield, though he’s not a wizard with his glove.

Overall he’s a passable player, but he’s not one teams should covet. In all likelihood it is simply just a rumor that he’s being linked to the Seattle Mariners —and this article is an overreaction— but it wouldn’t be the first time in recent memory that the M’s did something outlandish.