Well, it seems that I haven’t learned my lesson after the Padres Twitter backlash that my last article received, in which I made the case that the team should bring back Tyson Ross in 2018.
I know that many fans don’t want to read about the team picking up broken toys. It’s not sexy. I get it. I just can’t bring myself to write about the Padres signing Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta because I feel that it would be disingenuous. That’s not right for the team right now. We don’t need older, expensive arms in 2018. We need short-term, rotation fillers to flip at the deadline, and that’s it.
This is the blueprint: The Padres grab a regressing, inexpensive pitcher who is looking to rebuild value, sign him to a 1-year deal, hope that Darren Balsley and company get some production out of him, and then trade him at the deadline for prospects. How do you think that the team acquired Chris Paddack, Anderson Espinoza, Josh Naylor, and Fernando Tatis (sort of)? It seems that the team has at least one more year of doing this before the first wave of serious pitching prospects are ready to take ownership of the rotation. When that day comes, I’ll be singing a different tune.
Wily Peralta is likely not at the top of anyone’s offseason wish-list. The Brewers former top prospect was pretty awful in 2017. As a starter he had a 6.08 ERA in eight starts. As a reliever, he was even worse, posting an 11.94 ERA in 11 appearances over 17.1 innings. The team sent him down to Triple-A in July and he was never called back up. On October 3, Peralta declared free agency.
So why on earth would the Padres want him?
Peralta seems like he could be the perfect reclamation project for Balsley. He was once a Top-100 prospect. He has solid velocity on his fastball (97 mph) and a slider that has 12-6 movement on it, as well as a 97 mph sinker that generates a ton of ground balls. He also has a curve and changeup that are moderately effective.
He started his career relatively strong, making 32 starts in his rookie season in 2013 with a 4.37 ERA and 4.30 FIP. He was at his best in 2014, during which he notched 17 wins and put up a 3.53 ERA with a 4.11 FIP. In 2015 and 2016, his ERA rose to just under 5.00 both seasons. His 2017 has already been discussed.
After the successful season that Jhoulys Chacin had with the Padres last season, during which he put up an ERA of 3.89 with 13 wins and 2.8 WAR, a reunion would be welcomed. The barrier there may be that Chacin has pitched himself out of the range that the Padres would be willing to pay and could be snatched up by a team looking to contend in 2018. If that happens, the team will have to look to other options to replicate his success.
Wily Peralta could be that guy.
He is not exactly Chacin, but his profile is not all that different. They are both righties that regularly deploy the use of a slider, sinker, and four-seam fastball. Peralta’s fastball is much quicker than Chacin’s, as is his sinker. If Balsley could spruce up Chacin, maybe he could do the same with Peralta. With Peralta’s demonstrated volatility, it would be wise to trade him at the deadline if he does find any success. Who knows how long his luck will last?
At 28, however, the team could choose to try to hold onto him for the longer term if they think he might be able to contribute moving forward. He would have to be simply outstanding for that to be the case. As was mentioned earlier, the first wave of top-level pitching talent will be pounding on the doors from down on the farm.
Let’s face it, friends. 2018 is another year for development. Granted, the development may be a little further along at this point, but the team shouldn’t be trying to land the big money prospects just yet. There’s a time and place for everything, and right now is the time for the team to engage in a little low-risk/ high-reward trial and error. Peralta will surely come cheap and could have some short-term upside to offer the Padres. Hey, at least I’m not talking about bringing back Jake Peavy. Even though I want to.