D-backs, Peralta make 3-year extension official

January 13th, 2020

PHOENIX -- It wasn’t all that long ago that was serving fast-food hamburgers while trying to find his way back into professional baseball.

Having been released by the Cardinals as a pitcher after several arm injuries, Peralta reinvented himself as an outfielder and began playing independent ball in hopes of being noticed.

“I was working at McDonald’s trying to find a way to keep playing baseball and follow my dreams,” Peralta said. “Now, today, like eight 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.”

Peralta and the D-backs agreed on a three-year, $22 million extension that will cover Peralta’s final year of arbitration and two free-agency seasons through 2022.

“It’s not just me,” Peralta said. “It was my family, my mom, my dad, my wife, and everybody that trusted me. I’m really happy. All the hard work that I put in, that I do every year to do well, to show everybody what I can do, is paying off right now. Like I said, I can’t thank the Diamondbacks organization enough to give me the opportunity to stay here for a couple of more years.”

Peralta played independent ball for Rio Grande Valley, Wichita and Amarillo before being signed by the D-backs in 2013.

In six seasons with the D-backs, Peralta sports a .290 batting average, a .346 on-base percentage and a .478 slugging percentage. He notched 26 doubles, a National League-leading 10 triples and 17 home runs as part of a breakout season in 2015. Three years later, in '18, he hit career highs with 30 home runs and 87 RBIs as part of a solid offensive season that also saw him hit .293/.352/.516 and win a Silver Slugger Award.

Last year, Peralta won a Gold Glove and slashed .275/.343/.461, despite the season being cut short because of right shoulder surgery in August. He dealt with soreness and inflammation several times in 2019, but it’s not expected to be an issue in '20. He remains on track to be ready for Spring Training.

“I want Spring Training to start today, that’s the way I’m feeling,” Peralta said. “I know I’m fully healthy and I’m going to help the team the way I know I can help the team. It’s like I’m still feeling butterflies in my stomach. If you don’t feel butterflies in your stomach this time of the year, something is wrong with you. It’s exciting. This is what we’re waiting for is this moment to start the season, because we have one goal and that’s to win the World Series and we’re going for it.”

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said the two sides have had discussions off and on over the last year, but things began to get serious recently at last Friday’s deadline for arbitration-eligible players and teams to submit their proposed salaries.

“He can run,” Hazen said. “He’s a good athlete. He has the ability to impact the ball both for average and for power. I think, given the progress and the consistent drive to improve himself defensively -- as evidenced by the Gold Glove this year -- [it] is another thing to us signifying the pride David takes in his game. We know how motivated he is. We know what kind of leader he can be. We know his energy level. A lot of really, really good things about this person and baseball player that we are very fortunate to now be able to have play for us for another couple of years.”