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It's official: Rays sign Peralta to two-year deal
ST. PETERSBURG -- A seemingly foregone conclusion became official on Tuesday, when Tampa Bay announced it has re-signed right-hander Joel Peralta to a two-year Major League contract.

The contract includes club options for 2015-17.

"We love Joel's competitiveness and the impact he has on the younger pitchers in our bullpen," said Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations. "He has been an integral part of our late-inning success and has proven that he can get big outs in the American League East."

Peralta, 36, went 2-6 with a 3.63 ERA and a career-high 84 strikeouts in 2012. His 76 appearances ranked second in the AL, and his 147 games over the last two seasons lead the AL. Last season he held opponents to a .200 batting average and a .254 opponents' on-base percentage, fifth lowest among AL relievers.

Serving as the setup man, Peralta completed the eighth inning in 33 of Fernando Rodney's club-record 48 saves in 2012.

The native of the Dominican Republic has compiled a career 3.94 ERA over eight Major League seasons with the Angels, Royals, Rockies, Nationals and Rays. He has pitched two seasons with Tampa Bay, posting a 3.27 ERA with 145 strikeouts and only 35 walks.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, Joel Peralta