Shortstop Jhonny Peralta has agreed to a four-year deal with the Cardinals, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. The deal, which is expected to be, just over $52 million, will keep Peralta in a Cardinals uniform through the 2017 season. Peralta and the Cardinals have been close to a deal since yesterday evening, when it became prevalent that they offered that the Cardinals offered the shortstop a four-year deal.
Peralta, 31 at the beginning of 2014, has played in the big leagues for 11 years. He has a career slash line of .268/.330/.425 and has been a relatively good defender, posting a career .980 fielding percentage at short. In 2013, Peralta hit .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI. Peralta was tagged with a 50-game suspension for using PEDs in 2013. His .374 BABIP shows that he might not be able to repeat his performance from the 2013 season. A BABIP over .300 usually shows that a player has been relatively lucky during their season. Compared to his career BABIP (.315), Peralta had a great year in 2013, another sign that he might have a chance of falling off of the table.
Shortstop is definitely a position of need for the Cardinals. The Cardinals had a 27th worst OPS from their shortstops in 2013, posting a mark of .583. Peralta will likely replace Pete Kozma at shortstop, who hit .217/.275/.273 in 2013. Even if the Cardinals do not get the 2013 Peralta, they absolutely will be getting an upgrade at that position compared to the 2013 Kozma.