The Tampa Bay Rays solidified their bullpen for 2013 and beyond a bit, re-signing Joel Peralta to a two year deal for $6 million. Peralta will make $3 million in both 2013 and 2014 with an option of $2.5 million for 2015.
Peralta rose to prominence this season when he was ejected for having a substance on his glove during a June game with the Nationals, later revealed to be pine tar. He was later suspended eight games for the incident.
For the season, Peralta had a 3.63 ERA while striking out 84 and wallking just 17 in 67 innings. For those that want to use the pine tar incident as a crutch and a reason for his success, Peralta didn't exactly struggle in the second half of the season His ERA after the All-Star Break was 2.43, and he struck out 45 while walking only nine in 33 1/3 innings.
Giving a reliever a muti-year deal is usually a fool's errand, but $3 million per season over two (and possibly three) years isn't a huge risk on the part of the Rays. Considering that in his last three seasons (2011 and 2012 coming with the Rays), Peralta has accumulated 2.5 fWAR in 183 2/3 innings while striking out 194 and walking 44, I'm not overly concerned about him falling off a cliff or the Rays overpaying for a fluke year. One downside to this extension is that Peralta isn't young, spending the 2012 season as a 36-year old on a young Rays team.
With Peralta returning, the Rays bullpen looks like it won't be an issue for the team this offseason, despite Kyle Farnsworth and JP Howell hitting free agency. The team's top five relievers in terms of fWAR are all signed (or under team control) through next year, and the Rays have plenty of younger players they could use to fill a hole or two in the pen.
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