The Cardinals are close to finalizing a multiyear deal with free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta, several sources have confirmed Sunday morning. The club has not commented on the deal. It is team policy to wait until the player passes a physical to acknowledge the deal. The agreement with Peralta is pending the completion of a physical. Peralta, 31, would be a clear offensive upgrade at the position the Cardinals have targeted this winter for improvement from outside the organization. The righthanded-hitting Peralta batted .303 with a .457 slugging percentage and 11 home runs in 107 games for the Tigers this past season. He was an All-Star for a second time, but he finished the regular season with a 50-game suspension from his connection with Biogenesis, the anti-aging clinic in Florida alleged to have provided players with performance-enhancing drugs. He accepted his suspension without appeal. ESPN.com first reported that an agreement was close Saturday night, citing two unnamed sources. A deal could be completed as soon as Sunday. Early Saturday, Mozeliak said he did not see an imminent move. “But things change,” he cautioned. During a news conference to discuss Friday’s trade of David Freese to the Angels for center fielder Peter Bourjos in a four-player deal, Mozeliak said about the shortstop search: “We’ll exhaust all markets. That’s what we’ll do. … We’re looking at everything. Don’t feel we’re close to anything at this point.” The Cardinals have found the shortstop market pricey, whether the cost comes in dollars for free agents or prospects needed for a trade. Friday’s four-player deal with the Angels did, at some points in the negotiations, expand to include shortstop Erick Aybar. The Angels had been seeking young pitching in return for the infielder, just as the team had in July before the non-waiver trade deadline. The teams the Cardinals engaged in this offseason to discuss a trade for a shortstop, like the Angels, the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers, had been seeking the Cardinals’ top-shelf pitching talent. Starter Shelby Miller has been a target of other teams who want to cash in on the Cardinals' need for a shortstop. A source not connected with the Cardinals said the club, with its stockpile of young pitchers, has "only run into a sellers' market." Stephen Drew might be the best free agent available at the position. Boston offered him a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer that ties him to a draft pick. Signing him would cost a team like the Cardinals their first-round pick.
Cards close to signing shortstop Peralta
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Nov 24