NEW YORK – Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed on a four-year contract, giving the All-Star a fresh start after his Biogenesis drug suspension last summer.
The Cardinals filled a need by getting a top-hitting shortstop a month after losing the World Series in six games to Boston. Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso, while generally good fielders, are light hitters.
The deal was expected to be worth more than $50 million.
“We are pleased to announce that Jhonny has agreed to terms and I know he is equally excited to be joining the Cardinals,” general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement. “Jhonny is among the game’s top offensive shortstops, he’s a steady defender and he has experience playing for a contender. He gives us proven veteran experience and brings balance and versatility to our everyday lineup.”
But the move drew a different reaction from a couple other big leaguers.
“It pays to cheat . . . Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use,” Arizona pitcher Brad Ziegler tweeted.
“Apparently getting suspended for PED’s means you get a raise. What’s stopping anyone from doing it?” free agent pitcher David Aardsma tweeted.
The 31-year-old Peralta was suspended 50 games last season as a result of Major League Baseball’s investigation in the Biogenesis case involving performance-enhancing drugs. He returned to the Detroit Tigers in late September and played in the postseason, both in left field and at shortstop.
Shortly before Peralta was penalized, the Tigers acquired dynamic young shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team trade.
Peralta hit .303 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 107 games during the regular season, then batted .333 with one homer, four doubles and six RBIs in 10 playoff games.
The two-time All-Star is a career .268 hitter with 156 homers and 698 RBIs in 11 seasons with Cleveland and Detroit.
The NL champion Cardinals have been busy since the season ended. A few days ago, they sent third baseman David Freese, a hometown product and the 2011 World Series MVP, to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos in a four-player trade.
Funeral held for Weiner
Paramus New Jersey AP
Michael Weiner’s funeral drew baseball commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, adversaries who did not appear to cross paths during Sunday’s service honoring the union leader.
Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas, David Cone, Bobby Bonilla and Al Leiter also attended the 35-minute service.
Management representatives in addition to Selig included Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred, San Diego Padres executive Omar Minaya and MLB executive vice president Tim Brosnan.
Incoming union head Tony Clark, former union leader Donald Fehr and agents Scott Boras, Jeff Borris, Adam Katz, Seth Levinson, Jay Reisinger and Arn Tellem also were among the crowd, which filled the aisles and the funeral home lobby.
“If anybody would like to sit on the floor in front of the pews, that is fine,” Rabbi Mary Zamore said. “As you know, Mike Weiner was known for informality. We will respect that by just all squishing together.”