The Tampa Bay Rays have traded for Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta
In 87 games this season, Peralta has 12 HR and a 120 wRC+ against right handed pitching over 310 plate apperances in a fairly strict platoon role. Prior to this trade, Peralta had played all nine years of his major league career with the Diamondbacks (2014-2022).
Our own Cole Mitchem saw this coming a month ago:
David Peralta is a trade candidate that I like. Completely revamped his swing this year and is hitting many more flyballs and barrels than he ever has. He’s hitting .266/.322/.500 (122 wRC+) vs RHP and is still a plus OF defender. Would be a rental.— Rays Metrics (@RaysMetrics) June 29, 2022
Peralta has been in the top 10% in baseball in Max Exit Velocity every season since 2015, and is in the 85th percentile for average EV; in other words, even if Peralta doesn’t put it in the air, he’s hitting the ball hard enough to still get on base. You know, the Rays way.
Case in point, please enjoy this 113 mph screamer:
On the whole this was a necessary stopgap for the Rays following the broken thumb sustained by DH Harold Ramirez.
Peralta should add the same amount of pop to the lineup that the Yankees added in their recent acquisition of OF Andrew Benintendi, and is a standard trade deadline move for a team in contention. He was potentially the last such platoon bat available as well, following Joc Pederson’s placement on the Injured List last night.
A silver slugger at age-30 in 2018, and a gold glove defender at age-31 in 2019, the Venezuelan has started 69 games in left field this season, where his strong arm has put him in the 89th percentile in Outs Above Average, with the rest of his appearances at DH. It seems likely the Rays will try him in right field upon his arrival.
With the Rays soon returning right-handed hitting Manuel Margot, this is a logical platoon fit for the Tampa Bay roster.
The return for Peralta is not a monumental ask. With the Diamondbacks in as much of a roster crunch this off-season as the Rays, the ask was 19-year old catcher Christian Cerda, a standout performer in the lowest level of the Rays organization this season. Cerda is batting a 172 wRC+ over 20 games in the Rays complex league, and has the arm and overall profile to carry him through a system but standard expectations for a catcher’s bat.
Peralta is in the final season of a 3-year, $22 million deal signed ahead of the 2020 season, putting the Rays on the hook for less than half of his $7.5 million owed this year. In a corresponding move, LHP Angel Perdomo has been designated for assignment.
JT Morgan contributed to this article.