On Friday, the Diamondbacks had announced that the team has extended outfielder David Peralta to a 3-year deal worth $22MM. The deal covers his final arbitration season and two free agent years and would give the Diamondbacks control of their most tenured player through the 2022 season. Peralta had originally signed out of Indy Ball in July 2013 and was making his MLB Debut less than a year later. Peralta over the years has developed into a solid outfielder for the team with above-average production at the plate and has improved his defense each year. Peralta was due to reach free agency after the 2020 season had he elected to bet on himself and not sign the extension, but like Eduardo Escobar last year took the first good deal offered by the Dbacks in lieu of free agency.
Peralta met with the media for a conference call to talk about his extension and preparing for the 2020 season. Most of the questions were asked by the three main beat writers: Steve Gilbert from MLB.com, Zach Buchanan from The Athletic, and Nick Piecoro from the Arizona Republic.
If he had any concerns about potentially free agency after the season, especially after a season marred by a shoulder injury that would require surgery
“Not really, I wasn’t even thinking about that. If I did not sign that extension, I would have come out and still going to be the same guy, play hard like I always do. I’m not really concerned about anything because I’m feeling great, I’m healthy, and I know I can do a lot of stuff.”
Testing the market to see how much he could have gotten had he bet on himself on the season
“I don’t know, like I said we came with a conversation with the Dbacks and I was like ‘This is the opportunity, this is where I want to be’. If they want me to stay then of course I want to stay. If I was going to be a free agent, then I was ready for it. They came before and we talked with and I was really happy about it. I’ll repeat it again, this is where I want to be and that was the opportunity that I wanted and I took it. I took it because I would thank the Dbacks for what they’ve done for me, signing me from Independent Ball, I was always asking for an opportunity, they gave it to me and I really appreciate that.”
Reflecting on his baseball journey over the last 10 years
“I think 6, 7, 8 years ago I was working at McDonalds, trying to find a way to keep playing baseball, to follow my dreams. Now 8 years later I’m talking to you guys about getting an extension with an MLB team. It’s a lot of emotion that comes to me and it’s not just me that did it, I have support from my family: my mom, my dad, my wife and everything they’ve put together. They trust me and you keep working hard and I’m really happy that the hard work that I do every year to do well and show everyone what I can do is being noticed right now. I can’t thank the Dbacks organization enough for the opportunity to stay here for a couple more years.”
Going into Spring Training healthy
“I’m really excited. I wanted Spring Training to start today because that’s the way I’m feeling. I feel really great and can’t wait for Spring Training to start, go in there playing knowing that I’m fully healthy and help the team in the way I can help the team: get to know the guys, hanging out with my friends and all of my teammates. It’s all emotion, I feel like there are butterflies in my stomach. If you don’t feel butterflies in your stomach at this time of the year, something’s wrong with you because this is what I’m waiting for. The moment to start the season because we have one goal. To win a World Series.”
The biggest takeaway I had from that call was Peralta really wanted to stay in Arizona above all things, as he mentioned that at least 3 times in the call. Part of the reason I believe Peralta elected to forego free agency was loyalty to the one organization that gave him a chance, a refreshing gesture to see in an era where player movement is at an all-time high. As for what’s to come, we hope to see Peralta continue to showcase why he’s one of the better corner outfielders in the majors today.