Rays avoid arbitration with reliever Peralta

Rays avoid arbitration with reliever Peralta

Rays avoid arbitration with reliever Peralta
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay has agreed to terms with Joel Peralta on a one-year, $2.175 million deal, so it will not go to arbitration with the veteran reliever.

Peralta, 35, made 71 appearances in 2011, his first season with the Rays, finishing with a 3-4 record and a 2.93 ERA. Opposing hitters hit just .188 against him.

Having the right-hander back in the fold is a big piece for the Rays' bullpen. Peralta served primarily as the team's setup man for closer Kyle Farnsworth.

Peralta further demonstrated his value and flexibility by recording a career-high six saves, four of which came in September, when Farnsworth was out with elbow tenderness.

Other statistics of note were that Peralta held first batters faced to a .072 batting average, the best mark in the Major Leagues, and he held left-handed batters to a .155 average, the second-lowest mark among Major League relievers in 2011 and lowest single-season mark in Rays history (minimum of 100 at-bats).

The right-hander has spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues. He has also pitched for the Angels, Royals, Rockies and Nationals, compiling a career 3.99 ERA. He began his career as an outfielder in the Athletics' system in 1997 and converted to a pitcher in '99 with the Angels.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.