The Padres sign Wandy Peralta to a four-year contract

The Padres agreed to a four-year, $16.5 million contract with the left-handed free agent Andy PeraltaAnd Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic a report. The deal contains three opt-out clauses, meaning Peralta will have the yearly ability to re-opt in free agency. The agreement is pending physical. Peralta is represented by MAS+ Agency.

Peralta, 32, has been one of the Yankees' most consistent relievers over the past several seasons. From 2021-23, the southpaw logged 153 innings and pitched to a 2.82 ERA with a 21% strikeout rate, 10.2% walk rate, and an excellent 56.5% ground ball rate. He also limits hard contact very well, sitting in the 88th percentile (or better) of MLB pitchers in average opponents' exit velocity over each of the past four seasons.

In 2023, Peralta faced some uncharacteristic leadership struggles, as his walk rate jumped from 7.6% to 13.6%. He also notched a career-high six hits – the same number as he had over the previous four years combined. However, the track record is good, he kept his ERA below 3.00 even with shaky leadership, and at 32 years old, he is younger than most of the other players available. The Yankees were reportedly interested in retaining him, and the Mets are known to have some interest as well. Instead, he will head cross-country and join a revamped Padres bullpen that has lost its closer Josh Hader to the Astros but added several interesting arms.

Peralta joins the star left-hander NPB Yuki Matsui And the right KBO star Woo Suk Joo As free pickups for San Diego President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller. He also gained brothers Enel de los Santos In sending trade Scott Barlow To Cleveland. That quartet will be joined by right-handers Robert Suarez He is seeking to recover after a difficult season in 2023. True Stephen Wilson Also locked in a middle relief role.

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It's almost unheard of for a reliever to sign a deal that includes three opt-out provisions, but Preller has shown a willingness to use opt-out clauses more than any executive in the sport as a way to lure free agents to San Diego. Both Matsui and Suarez have the option to opt out of their contracts for five years (an extremely rare term for relief contracts as well). Recent offseasons have also seen the Friars given opt-out clauses Michael Washa, Nick Martinez, Seth Lugo, Matt Carpenter, Manny Machado And Eric Hosmer (Multiple opt-outs, in the case of Wacha and Martinez).

Recurring opt-out provisions are clearly a successful tactic in terms of attracting free agents, but they are also one of the main factors behind the permanent change to the Padres roster. Furthermore, the risk is fairly obvious from the team's point of view; If Peralta performs well in 2024, he will likely opt to return to free agency next season and convert the contract to a one-year deal. If he gets injured or performs poorly, the Padres will still be on the hook for what could quickly look like an unwanted contract. Even if Peralta performs well this summer but the Padres fall out of contention, a trio of opt-outs would drain a lot of Peralta's trade value. Any potential trade partner would be wary of acquiring a player who will hit free agency at the end of the season if things go well but is still guaranteed additional seasons if the trade goes poorly.

The contract's unusual structure also works to lower the luxury tax on the Padres, who would certainly like to dip below the $237 million threshold and reset the penalty after rising tax hurdles last year. The Brothers have cut a lot of their actual salaries, but are still only about $22 million short of that top-tier tax level after signing Peralta. For each resource list. This is largely due to the late contracts of Machado, Matsui, Fernando Tatis Jr And Jake Cronenworth.

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The addition of Peralta provides a solid veteran arm to what looks like an up-and-down Padres bullpen. While Suarez, Matsui and Joe are all clearly talented, there is a wide range of outcomes for each of the three as Suarez looks to put last year's injuries behind him while Matsui and Joe move to North American football after impressing in their respective leagues across the world. Pacific. This is key for the Padres, as is getting Peralta at a reasonable annual price. While there is a significant downside due to opt-outs, as previously discussed, the contract also creates the possibility of obtaining one year of Peralta at a very reasonable price that would not have been possible otherwise.

The lower salaries in the contract also leave Preller & Co. Some extra wiggle room as they look to supplement their top-heavy roster. The Padres have obvious needs in the outfield and rotation, and they could also use another bat to bolster the cornerback/designated hitter mix. However, the Padres were also looking to cut payroll by as much as $50 million from last year's mark of $255 million. They're currently at a projected $160 million. On the surface, this seems to leave plenty of room for further additions, but as we noted earlier, the team is only a note or two away from returning to the luxury threshold, which could be helpful in predicting the remainder of their offseason. Transactions.

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