Rays add reliever Peralta
UPDATE, 5:05: Peralta gets good reviews from Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, who raved about his pitching and his approach, calling him "a bulldog" and "a throwback" and saying he could see him handling late-inning duties.
"I loved the guy, he really helped us a lot. Not only did he pick up innings for us, he pitched really well. He did a great job. He's resilient, he threw strikes, he's a great competitor.''
Also: "He's really a bulldog on the mound. He's a little guy, but he leaves it out there for you. ... We started to use him in a lot more situations, we used him in the eighth and ninth (innings) when needed. He's not scared, I can tell you that. He'll take the ball in any situation. ... He's a throw back.''
Riggleman said the Nats were hoping to re-sign Peralta, but he originally wanted a two-year deal.
As for repertoire, Peralta throws a fastball in the low 90s, a splitfinger and a breaking ball, which he'll use early in the count.
DEVELOPING: The Rays have made the first addition to their depleted bullpen, agreeing to terms with RHP Joel Peralta.
The one-year deal, for about $900K, was first reported this morning by ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
An official announcement could come later today.
Peralta, 34, was non-tendered by the Nationals despite a decent 2010 season. He would add some experience to a Rays bullpen depleted by free agency, as Joaquin Benoit and Randy Choate have signed elsewhere and Rafael Soriano, Dan Wheeler (Red Sox?) and Grant Balfour are expected to follow.
Here'a a quick summary from mlbtraderumors.com: Peralta, 35 in March, posted a 2.02 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 49 innings of work for the Nationals in 2010. A late bloomer who didn't reach the major leagues until his age 29 season, Peralta has a 4.22 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 260 career relief appearances. He has always generated lots of fly balls and this year ranked fifth in fly ball rate (55.6%) among big league relievers with at least 40 innings pitched.
There have been a flurry of moves on the reliever market, with one of the biggest Bobby Jenks, the former White Sox closer, agreeing to terms today with the Red Sox. And the New York Daily News is reporting the Yankees are at least "exploring" the idea of signing Soriano, and using him as the set-up man to Mariano Rivera.