One of the top priorities the New York Mets have this offseason is the shortstop position. It would be risky if the Mets were to head into next season dependent on Ruben Tejada, whose time with the Mets could be over after spending most of the season in the minors and getting injured early in September before he could prove himself worthy of being the everyday shortstop next season. If not Tejada, could current Detroit Tigers shortstop and free agent to be Jhonny Peralta be a good fit for the Mets?
It’s well known that Peralta missed 50 games this year due to his connection to Biogenesis, which makes him a risky free agent to sign. However, he returned from the suspension late in the regular season and has had a great postseason, being an x-factor for the Tigers. It’s important to note, however, that he has spent time playing left field instead of shortstop since returning.
Offensively, Peralta would give the Mets a big boost from what they got out of the shortstop position this season. He has above-average power for a shortstop and has been a steady run producer during his career, although he may not have the kind of patience at the plate that the Mets like to see.
Defensively, the Mets would have to make a trade off with Peralta, as he would certainly be a step down from someone like Tejada or Wilfredo Tovar, one of the Mets’ top shortstop prospects. Peralta isn’t a terrible defensive player, but at his age, his range is limited. That is something the Mets dealt with this season with Omar Quintanilla, and the Mets would prefer a reliable defensive player at shortstop.
What also makes Peralta interesting for the Mets is the possibility of continuing to play him in left field, as the Tigers have done in the postseason. If the Mets sign Peralta and also retain Tejada, they could move Peralta to the outfield, which is another area of need for them.
Obviously, things could be complicated if the Mets signed Peralta, considering his defense and their situation with Tejada. However, if his link to Biogenesis drops his price on the free agent market, the Mets should strongly consider signing Peralta, as his bat would be a big addition to their lineup. For the right price, the Mets can find a position for him to play in order to add a strong offensive presence to their lineup.