Adding another option to the impending platoon across the outfield, the Dodgers signed former nemesis David Peralta to a one-year, $6.5 million deal that has some incentives to bring it up a bit more.
Joining Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, James Outman, Andy Pages and Jonny DeLuca on the 40-man roster, Peralta likely takes up a roster spot that may have gone to one of the non-roster invitees announced last week. Or maybe this just absolutely lands Outman in Oklahoma City to start the year if he doesn’t breakout this spring.
A member of Arizona’s organization from 2013 to this past July, Peralta finished the 2022 season with Tampa Bay after being traded on July 30th. Having recorded 416 plate appearances in his 8+ years in the majors with the D-backs, Peralta slashed .251/.310/.392/.702 with 8 homers and 85 strikeouts to 28 walks. That’s actually his lowest total OPS against a member of the NL West despite how it may have felt over the years.
And thankfully, Josh already answered why that’s the case.
As for what Peralta offers in 2023, the 35-year-old left-handed batter finished with a 116 wRC+ against right-handed pitching last season with the D-backs and Rays compared to a 38 wRC+ against lefties. Peralta has only played left field (or DH) over the past four seasons, winning a Gold Glove in 2019. His career split backs up his 2022 season, with a 121 wRC+ against righties and 76 wRC+ against lefties.
Those splits now match Thompson’s (182 wRC+ vs. RHP/78 wRC+ vs. LHP in 2022, 107 vs. RHP/92 vs. LHP for career) while Taylor’s 2022 was a struggle against lefties (101 wRC+ vs. RHP/73 wRC+ vs. LHP in 2022 compared to 102 vs. RHP/140 vs. LHP in 2021) with his career now at (107 vs. RHP/110 vs. LHP).
A .248/.316/.460/.777 line with Arizona turned to a .255/.317/.335/.652 line with Tampa Bay. His K% rose to 23.3% in 2022, the highest of his career (and was consistent before and after the trade), but his wRC+ overall of 104 was still pretty much in line with the rest of his career. After posting a wRC+ of 104 back in 2017, it jumped to 130 for his silver slugger season in 2018 before coming down to 106, 106 and 94 from 2019 to 2021.
As for his wOBA/xwOBA, Peralta finished at .315/.313 in 2022 with the former still off his .338 in 2019 and .333 in 2020 though the later was the highest since the Silver Slugger season of .350.
Without taking a drastically deep look, the one thing that stood out at a glance were Peralta’s Chase% going up, Chase Contact% going down and Swing% going up.
Adding in the rise in O-Swing%, the drop in O-Contact% (obviously) and the drop in Contact% on FanGraphs, it looks like Peralta was struggling a bit more with change-ups last season according to some of the other data on the site.
If the Dodgers would like, they can stall on adding Peralta to the 40-man roster and just hold off on the official announcement until the team reports to camp and they can move players over to the 60-day IL. Peralta was also announced as a member of Venezuela’s roster for the World Baseball Classic, joining Miguel Rojas, assuming he does participate following his hand surgery.
Since we put this together, it was worth adding at the bottom that the Dodgers also added another former D-back on Friday.