Dodgers sign veteran outfielder Peralta

February 16th, 2023

When looking at the Dodgers’ roster, the outfield -- Mookie Betts aside -- is one of the team’s biggest question marks.

On Thursday, the Dodgers made a move that could fix some of those issues, agreeing to a one-year deal with outfielder . Terms were not announced, but it's for $6.5 million, sources told, and the contract comes with incentives that could add up to $2 million to Peralta’s contract.

With Peralta in the fold, the Dodgers are expected to start the season by platooning in the outfield, something they believe will help them maximize matchups. In that scenario, the lefty-hitting Peralta would start in left field and get most of his at-bats against right-handers, while Trayce Thompson and Chris Taylor would continue to handle the responsibilities against left-handed pitching.

Adding Peralta, as well as having non-roster invitees Jason Heyward and Bradley Zimmer in the mix, gives the Dodgers some insurance in the outfield -- which could allow highly touted prospect James Outman to get fully comfortable before making his impact at the big league level.

Peralta has a career .796 OPS and is no stranger to the National League West, having spent the first 8 1/2 years of his career with the D-backs before getting shipped to the Rays at the Trade Deadline last July. Peralta won a Silver Slugger Award back in 2018 after hitting a career-high 30 homers.

Last season, Peralta got off to a strong start, posting a .777 OPS and 12 homers in 87 games with the D-backs, but his production fell off with the Rays (.652 OPS, no homers in 47 games).

Defensively, Peralta also gives the Dodgers a boost. The 35-year-old won a Gold Glove Award in 2019, and while he’s not the same defender he once was, Peralta did grade out extremely well defensively in ’22. He finished with 5 outs above average, which was behind just Cleveland’s Steven Kwan and Angels/Phillies outfielder Brandon Marsh among left fielders.

Peralta -- born in Valencia, Venezuela -- is on the roster for his native country in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Team Venezuela is scheduled to play in the Miami pool from March 11-15.