Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta would like to be a Detroit Tiger in 2014, writes the Detroit Free Press' John Lowe. When asked about the possibility of him remaining with the Tigers, Peralta responded with:
"There's a chance for sure, yeah, because, I like the organization here. Do I want to be here? Yeah, I want to be here."
The 31 year old Peralta has been with Detroit since 2010, when he was acquired from Cleveland for minor leaguer. Giovanni Soto. An 11 year veteran and two-time All-Star, Peralta was suspended for 50 games this season for his role in the Biogenesis PED scandal. He returned to play on September 27th before spending the entirety of Detroit's recent playoff run as the Tigers' starting left-fielder due to the presence of Jose Iglesias. In 107 games this season, Peralta hit .303/.358/.457 with a 3.3 WAR.
Though Peralta would like to remain in Detroit, the Tigers may not have room for him. With Jose Iglesias already entrenched at short for the foreseeable future, Peralta would have to be relegated to left field, a position where he has played just 3 regular season games at. To complicate things further, Nick Castellanos, Detroit's top prospect, plays left field and has little left to prove in the minors. The Tigers also have Andy Dirks, who is probably best suited for a reserve role, but will be receiving the minimal salary next year and is just a year removed from posting a OPS+ of 129.
A valuable asset who will likely receive a large payday this winter despite his PED issues, Peralta doesn't appear to be a part of Detroit's long term plans. Fortunately for him, there is a dearth of starting caliber shortstops in baseball right now, with contenders like the Yankees, Reds, Cardinals, and Pirates all lacking in the shortstop department.