I’ll preface this by making note of the disappointment of the day at the news that Bill King failed once again to be posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by winning the Frick Award. I had planned to expand on that today, but a flurry of news from the great Susan Slusser has changed things a bit. In a late edition of her Drumbeat blog last night, she brought forth a new option that had not yet been associated with the Athletics, current Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Oct 9, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) between pitches before earning a walk against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning of game three of the 2012 ALDS at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Slusser notes that this scenario playing out would probably mean that Stephen Drew had signed with the Tigers. She says the A’s “would” pursue him if that situation came to pass. So it seems prudent to examine that possibility, and what it would cost to acquire Peralta.
At first glance it doesn’t seem like Peralta is Billy Beane‘s type of player at all. He has a career OBP of just .327, and while he does hit for some power, it seems like his ability to get on base could really use some work. He does hit for some power, but not nearly enough to compensate for his lack of on base ability. His below average wRC+ of just 86, doesn’t do anything to indicate his hits are packing more of a punch. His ISO of .145 is just about right at the league average, so Peralta really doesn’t add much to the team.
What makes this possibility even less appealing is the price the A’s might have to pay to acquire him. Slusser notes that the Tigers are looking for a right handed outfielder, but have no interest in Michael Taylor. She mentions Jemile Weeks though as a possible trade chip, with the notion that the Tigers would try to convert Weeks into an outfielder. Regardless of whether something like that would be able to work for Weeks, it seems like a big price to pay for someone of Peralta’s level of mediocrity.
At this point though, if you believe Stephen Drew‘s agent Scott Boras, the market is heating up for him. But it is Scott Boras, so you have to bring a level of skepticism when he speaks. His statements may be what heats that market up in fact. With the money being handed out to the likes of Jeff Keppinger by the White Sox, and Marco Scutaro by the Giants, Drew’s price may go through the roof and officially take him out of the A’s price range.
So while Drew may truly be slipping away from the Athletics, I don’t think they have to panic and make a poor trade to get a warm body in the shortstop position. Peralta is not the answer, plaine and simple, and hopefully Billy Beane realizes that (Much like he realized he really wanted nothing to do with Yunel Escobar and his “reputation for immature behavior” before backing out of an apparent agreed upon deal last night, also in Slusser’s report).
Every single time I look into the situation the A’s have on their hands, the focus always returns to Hiroyuki Nakajima. He is also discussed by Slusser, and word is that he is only seeking a 3 year contract at $5 million per season. That is hardly a large commitment, and if Billy Beane can perhaps talk that 3rd year into an option it would look even better. As Slusser says, it seems to be a perfect match and I see no use in either side wasting more time before making this a reality.