Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have spent much of the offseason in search of an outfielder after Cody Bellinger signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Dave Roberts identified it as an area of focus, though the Dodgers came up short in their pursuit of Kevin Kiermaier and weren’t considered likely to meet the Pittsburgh Pirates’ exorbitant asking price for a Bryan Reynolds trade.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers instead added to their organizational depth by signing Jason Heyward, Steven Duggar and Bradley Zimmer to respective Minor League contracts.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Dodgers have now signed David Peralta to a one-year, $6.5 million contract that can increase to $8 million in total value:
Outfielder David Peralta and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a one-year, $6.5 million contract, pending physical, sources tell ESPN. Incentives can take the deal to $8 million. Peralta, 35, joins Trayce Thompson, Chris Taylor and others likely to get left-field ABs.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 10, 2023
Peralta hit a combined .251/.316/.415 with 30 doubles, 12 home runs and 59 RBI over 134 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays last season.
Peralta had a higher batting average after being traded to the Rays, but his .335 slugging percentage trailed the .460 produced while with the Diamondbacks. Peralta led the Majors with eight triples in 2021, but some of his offensive statistics have been on the decline since posting an .868 on-base plus slugging in 2018.
However, Peralta did finish with a 104 wRC+ last season, and has exceeded 100 in five of the last six years.
The veteran outfielder won a Silver Slugger Award in 2018 and Gold Glove the following season.
The Dodgers reportedly had interest in the 35-year-old before the Diamondbacks traded him to the Rays at last year’s deadline. He joins AJ Pollock as a former outfielder who carved out a successful career with the Diamondbacks before eventually signing with the Dodgers as a free agent.
How David Peralta fits with Dodgers
Peralta hasn’t played center field since the 2016 season, but his arrival provides more flexibility with Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson. Not only are both capable of playing left field as part of a potential platoon with Peralta, but they conceivably could split duties in center field as well.
Meanwhile, if hitting coaches are able to help Peralta recapture some of his offensive prowess, it would provide the Dodgers lineup with added thump from the left side.
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