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Report: Joel Peralta Close to Signing With Rays

It's been a busy couple of days with the Rays' rumor mill, and now we get this from Buster Olney:

Heard this: The Rays have agreed to terms with reliever Joel Peralta, for about $900,000. The deal is not completed...

Tommy Rancel was the first to mention Joel Peralta as a buy-low candidate after he was non-tendered by the Nationals, and he's been on our radar ever since. Here is Rancel's look at Peralta over at The Process Report:

With 49 strikeouts in 49 innings, he sported a nice round K/9 of 9.00. In addition to the excellent strikeout rate, he walked just nine batters in his 39 appearances. He was one of just four relief pitchers in the big leagues to boast a K/9 greater than 9.00 and a BB/9 less than 1.75. One of the others was the recently departed Joaquin Benoit.

While Peralta's ERA last season was unsustainably low (2.02 ERA, thanks to a .219 BABIP and 85% LOB%), he still had excellent peripheral statistics (3.02 FIP) and is coming to the Rays at a bargain price. He's essentially a much cheaper version of Dan Wheeler: a flyball pitcher that has also historically been much more effective against right-handed batters (3.57 FIP) than against lefties (5.67 FIP).

The bargain-hunters strike again. Despite all the turnover, Andrew Friedman seems well on his way to crafting yet another cheap and effective bullpen.

For more on Joel Peralta, check out R.J. Anderson's analysis of the move over at The Process Report and Jason Collete's take over at Dock of the Rays.