PHOENIX (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks, adding a veteran left-handed bat for the playoff race.
The Rays sent 19-year-old minor league catcher Christian Cerda to the Diamondbacks.
The 34-year-old Peralta has played his entire nine-year MLB career with the D-backs, where he won a Silver Slugger award in 2018 and a Gold Glove in 2019. His bat has slowed in recent seasons, but he’s still very good against right-handed pitching.
Peralta — a fan favorite in Arizona — has a .248 average, 12 homers and 41 RBIs this season.
“My reaction was like, shock,” Peralta said. “It was a sad moment for me, for sure, but on the other side I was really excited and happy that the Rays was interested in me, in the belief that I can help them to get into the playoffs and I know that’s going to happen.”
Rays general manager Peter Bendix says Peralta will likely play a lot of left field for a club with an AL-high 16 players on the injured list, including outfielders Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot and Harold Ramirez. Kiermaier is out for the season after left hip surgery.
“He has a history of offensive performance that we really like,” Bendix said. “We think he’s somebody that can kind of stablize our lineup. Good defender, good well-rounded baseball player. He’s seen a lot of things in this game. I think balances out our group really well right now.”
Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said making the trade made sense for the organization, especially since Peralta is a free agent in a few months, but it was still a difficult moment.
“It was a tough conversation, it was emotional conversation,” Hazen said. “He brought energy, enthusiasm and he was a really good player for us.”
Peralta’s unique background endeared him to many baseball fans. He was a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization before injuries led to his release in 2009. He then played independent ball, and was signed by the D-backs as an outfielder in 2013 before making the big leagues in 2014.
Cerda is batting .315 in rookie-level ball.
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