November 23, 2013

Should the Mets Give Jhonny Peralta A Four Year Deal?

Mets fan's needn't look any farther than yesterday's acquisition of Chris Young to know that the market for free agents is up this winter.  If you do take the time to look farther, you would see that Hunter Pence, Marlon Byrd and even Carlos Ruiz have all earned contracts higher than expected.  So that, paired with rumors that Jhonny Peralta was seeking a five year deal worth $75 million lead me to tweet the following yesterday:
My thinking was that Peralta was shooting high, which he should if he's going to maximize his value.  The baseball community unanimously kicked back at the notion of 5/$75M, but with prices being what they are I just shaved a year and a few million a year off his proposal.  Four years for a total of $52 million is where I landed.  A whopping $13 million per year.

Later yesterday evening, my line of thinking..which is often criticized, was vindicated for a change:
Occasionally its nice to be right, although I'm not sure this is one of those times. The Mets went into this winter with the pipe dream that Peralta could be had on just a two year deal.  Most experts predicted three, but now its clear that it will be four years.  So that begs the question: Should the Mets offer a four year contract to an already 31 year old shortstop coming off of a PEDs suspension?

Unfortunately its not just a matter of what happens with Peralta, because the team has other holes to fill.  With that said, I would have to advise that if the Mets are unable to land an impact bat for right field (whether it be Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson), they should make the move for Peralta.  Despite the fact that Peralta does not have the level of power the Mets covet, he is a significant offensive improvement at shortstop.

Looking into the future, four years would bring him through his 36th birthday.  That's pretty old for a shortstop, but there has already been talk of him shifting to second base or even the outfield.  Does that type of flexibility make him a more viable option in the long term?

Again, I only make this deal if Sandy believes he won't be able to sign an impact bat.  I would much rather add thirty home run potential in left if given the opportunity.  However, if they're going to be priced out of that group (which I think is very possible), fill the other glaring hole on the diamond.  Don't let rising prices be an excuse for returning a mediocre lineup.  Four years and at least $52 million is certainly an overpay, but overpay we must if the Mets are ever going to return to relevance.

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