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Diamondbacks Interested in Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta


The Arizona Diamondbacks traded away shortstop Stephen Drew last season and turned the everyday job over to Willie Bloomquist. Evidently, GM Kevin Towers isn’t satisfied with an unsettled shortstop position.

According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports, Towers has turned his attention to the Detroit Tigers and is interested in shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Peralta is under contract for $6 million in 2013.

Peralta was an all-star in 2011, but fell back to Earth last year. Image: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Peralta had a banner year in 2011, but regressed significantly at the plate last season, posting a .239 average and .689 OPS for the Tigers. Defensively, Peralta has limited range, but sure hands and an accurate throwing arm. He made several outstanding defensive plays during the 2012 post-season.

The Tigers would like to upgrade at shortstop more for defensive reasons than anything Peralta has done at the plate. With Miguel Cabrera playing third for the foreseeable future, Detroit gives us a lot of ground ball base hits through the left side of the infield. The shortstop market is weak, however, and in order to move Peralta, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski would want another shortstop in hand.

Drew, a free agent, could be an option for the Tigers, but apart from Danny Worth, Detroit has no realistic internal candidates for the job.

The Diamondbacks are also said to be in contact with free agent shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who intends to play in the major leagues in 2013. Nakajima was posted in 2011, but did not sign with the Yankees, who had won the bidding for the rights to negotiate.

Nakajima has averaged better than 20 homers per season dating back to 2004 during his career in Japan. After turning down the Yankees last year, Nakajima inked a one-year deal with the Seibu Lions where he posted a .311/.382/.451 line.

Towers has been working actively to add a shortstop, seeking the best young players at the position as return on any possible Justin Upton trade. Now that an Upton deal looks unlikely, Towers will seek alternative means to filling that hole.