Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers all the way back in December 2015, starting pitcher Freddy Peralta has shown impressive glimpses of the kind of pitcher that he can become, which has made the franchise proud that they went out and acquired him. And while his performance on the diamond has been much more than the team could have even hoped to get out of him, their trust in Fastball Freddy means a little bit more now.
The team and Peralta came together on a five-year contract extension, guaranteeing Peralta $15.5 million over that time frame, with the potential to tack on two more years that would bring the total value of the contract up to be $30 million for seven seasons, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Rosenthal also noted that the deal that Peralta was just signed to almost directly mirrors the type of deal that the Chicago White Sox signed left-hander Aaron Bummer to this offseason as well, showing how the market is shifting towards favoring younger players that are being locked up to buy out the remainder of their arbitration years while also prolonging their first foray into free agency.
As a small-market franchise, the Brewers are smart to try and lock up as many of their young players on small-money deals as they can before they would exceed the team’s budget. For Freddy Peralta, this deal means a ton, especially with how much of an unheralded prospect he once was considered to be.
As one of the three young pitchers acquired by the Brewers from the Seattle Mariners for first baseman Adam Lind, Peralta is the only arm from that deal to have made it up to the big leagues for Milwaukee. While taking three separate lottery tickets in return for shipping out a 30-something slugging first baseman that did not fit into the team’s long-term plans may seem like a risk, it represented one of the best moves early into the tenure of now President of Baseball Operations David Stearns, who had just begun his tenure as the team’s General Manager two months prior.
By keeping Peralta in the fold, the team shows that it believes in his potential, which could be as impressive as how he performed on Mother’s Day in his MLB debut, which resulted in 13 strikeouts and taking a no-hitter deep into the game against the Colorado Rockies in Colorado. On the flip side, the right-hander’s career ERA is at a bloated 4.79 across 163.1 innings pitched, according to Kyle Lesniewski.
Noted as a high-upside contract extension during the time of year that a bunch of these deals are completed, the Brewers were very smart in addressing one area of their team that has been the main topic of conversations. Even though the extension of Freddy Peralta may have come off as a bit of a surprise given the fact that there are better players on the team’s roster that are not superstars but are still deserving of a new contract, it is well deserved for Peralta and a great move with their future in mind for the Brewers.
Next up on the docket for the Brew Crew for extensions could be any plethora of players, which could include second baseman and slugger Keston Hiura, recently-acquired utility infielder Luis Urias, shortstop Orlando Arica (if he finally is able to put everything together in 2020), catchers Omar Narvaez and Manny Pina, and pitchers Eric Lauer (acquired along with Urias from the San Diego Padres this offseason) and Brandon Woodruff, who is projecting to be the ace starter of not only just the present but also the future for this team.
While the lack of needle-moving moves that the Brewers made this offseason may make their trek back to the playoffs for the third consecutive season a bit more difficult than the past two years, their moves of helping build for the future by signing guys to club-control contracts that also act as one-year prove-it deals really helps this team get a good look at what they could be.
Through the extension of Peralta, their chances at becoming a solid presence at the top of the National League Central division may have improved a bit, as long as Freddy Peralta holds up on his end of the bargain.