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David Peralta extended through 2022; Robbie Ray, Jake Lamb + more avoid arbitration

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The Freight Train can be in Sedona Red livery for the next three seasons

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Arizona outfield has been a big question-mark this winter. It was far from certain who will be playing center or right-field next season, with the only surety being David Peralta in left. But even there, the Freight Train was entering the final year of team control, and was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020 campaign. Worry about that no more, as Peralta has signed a three-year extension, covering the upcoming one plus two years of free agency. Bob Nightengale was the first to break the news, saying that the contract is for a guaranteed $22 million over the three years, with an additional $1.25 million in incentives to sweeten the pot.

That should give Peralta, who turned 32 in August, a chance to tie Miguel Montero for the most seasons played as a Diamondback, with nine. For David just completed his sixth season in Arizona. He has appeared in 670 games, and has a slash line of .290/.346/.478, for an OPS+ of 115. David has been worth a total of 14.2 bWAR, though had an injury-impacted 2019 season. Peralta managed only 99 appearances, and 1.9 bWAR, with an OPS+ of 106. Hopefully, there’ll be a rebound in his future, though as he enters his mid-thirties, it’s likely Father Time will begin tapping him on the shoulder. He was a late bloomer (making his MLB debut a couple of months shy of his 27th birthday), so a lot will depend on how he ages.

For example, with decent health, I can see a scenario where Peralta is worth six bWAR over the course of the contract (2.5/2.0/1.5): that’d be good value. ZIPS, however, is less optimistic, projecting Peralta to be worth 1.6 WAR this year. If there’s a similar decline, that’d be only 3.3 WAR over the contract, which is rather more marginal. The deal calls for Peralta to be paid $7 million this season, and $7.5 million in 2021 + 2022. That is considerably less than the $8.8 million arbitration estimate from MLB Trade Rumors, so would appear to give Mike Hazen an extra bit of cash if he wants to put it towards a center-fielder.

But wait, there’s more! For speaking of arbitration, we can also cross Robbie Ray off the list, as Mark Feisand reports the team has settled with Ray on his final year’s salary before hitting free agency. The figure quote is $9.43 million, which is also significantly lower than the MLBTR estimate ($10.8 million). Put those two contracts for 2020 together, and there’s suddenly another $3 million more than we expected available. We’ll defer to Jack and his spreadsheet on this, but I think that’s probably around $8 million left in spending money. But both these deals seem skewed towards team-friendly: alongside the Eduardo Escobar and Ketel Marte extensions, Hazen seems to have a way with them!

[Update] Add Jake Lamb to the list.

That’s actually above the estimate, which is interesting. The team clearly seems motivated to retain Lamb.

$5,000 below expectations. :)

Estimate: $3.2 million. Still remaining arb-eligible at time of wriring (but stay tuned!): Nick Ahmed and Archie Bradley.