From Padres killer to Padres left fielder? David Peralta offers decent bargain

Jun 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta (6) hits an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning during a baseball game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres desperately need help in left field. Perhaps old familiar foe David Peralta could be of service.

The Padres are in dire need of more offense, especially in the outfield. Plenty of options have been discussed ad nauseam. Some of those more expensive, higher upside options are still available.  Brandon Nimmo, Andrew Benintendi, Michael Brantley, and even former Padre Jurickson Profar are all still free agents.

However, with costs running high, especially for pitchers, perhaps the Padres want to be more frugal when acquiring an outfielder. David Peralta offers a great combo of experience, past production, familiarity with the ballpark, and he comes without a high price tag.

Some might be scared off by the fact that he will be 36 years old next summer. However, it looks like there’s still some juice left in the tank. Peralta has been a thorn in the side of the Padres for several seasons as an outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 107 career games against the Padres, he hit .305 with an .848 OPS. At Petco Park specifically, he is hitting .287 with seven homers and a .823 OPS.

In 2021, his last full season in Arizona, he tortured the Padres with a .328 batting average. He also tormented the Padres with his glove in left field.

To those who think he is too old, his metrics seem to disagree. In 2022, his average exit velocity at the plate was in the 75th percentile. His 8.5 percent barrel rate was better than players like Francisco Lindor, Nolan Arenado, and Alex Bregman. In the field, he posted 5 Outs Above Average, which put him in the 88th percentile.

That isn’t just a one-off season, either. He was also in the 87 percentile for Outs Above Average in 2021. Father Time is undefeated (unless you’re Tom Brady), but he does not seem to have caught up with Peralta quite yet. He also seems like a genuinely good person and quality clubhouse man and would fit right in with the Padres ecosystem.

He hit 30 doubles and 12 home runs between his time with Arizona and the Tampa Bay Rays after being traded last season. Not counting 2020, he has had five straight seasons of at least 40 extra-base hits. He even won Silver Slugger in 2018 after hitting 30 home runs for Arizona.

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His .415 slugging percentage last season would have been third on the Padres. He offers some pop and gap-to-gap ability

While he isn’t the best slugger or the flashiest name, Peralta has a workmanlike approach and has been consistent over several seasons. He has over 1,000 career hits, with over 100 home runs and a lifetime 111 OPS+.

The Padres may still be after some “bigger fish,” but Peralta is a quality veteran baseball player with a much more affordable price.

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