Tigers reach agreement with Peralta

The Tigers have agreed to terms with shortstop Jhonny Peralta on a
two-year contract, according to a source with knowledge of the
agreement. The deal is expected to be announced in the next couple days,
and sew ups Detroit’s shortstop opening for the foreseeable future.

Enrique
Rojas of ESPN Deportes first reported the two sides were finishing up
the final details this weekend. The contract is worth $11.25 million,
and includes a third-year club option at $6 million.

The
agreement takes Peralta off the market just as other teams had gained
the right to talk to him about a contract. Peralta was prepared to
listen to interest, but he made it clear Friday that his goal was to
stay in Detroit, which acquired him in a trade from Cleveland near the
end of July.

“My first preference is Detroit,” he reiterated to
MLB.com in a phone interview from his offseason home in the Dominican
Republic.

Peralta confirmed an agreement to the Detroit Free
Press. Tigers officials did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. The team generally does not confirm agreements before they’re
formally announced.

Though an agreement was long-expected,
negotiations between the Tigers and Peralta on a new deal took up the
better part of a month, though they didn’t really pick up in seriousness
until the last couple weeks. Peralta was hoping to get a two- or
three-year deal as a trade-off for taking a lower salary than the $7.25
million club option the Tigers made clear they would not pick up.
Detroit officially declined the option last week.

Peralta will still get a sizeable raise from his previous deal. He’ll make $5.25
million next season and $5.5 million in 2012, after which the Tigers will either
pick up his $6 million option for buy him out for $500,000.

Both
sides stated encouragement towards getting a deal done once the Tigers
made declined the option, the final piece of the five-year, $13 million
contract he signed with the Indians after the 2005 season.

– Jason Beck

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