Veteran left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta would be a great fit for the Pittsburgh Pirates, potentially making him a free agent target
Ben Cherington has a list of things he needs to accomplish this offseason. Especially with the Pittsburgh Pirates looking to take the next step in 2024 and compete for the postseason. While there is a good foundation in place, one area that needs reinforced entering 2024 is the Pirate bullpen.
A group of David Bednar, Carmen Mlodzinski, Ryan Borucki, Dauri Moreta, and Colin Holderman is a good group to build around entering the 2024 season. However, that group needs another high-leverage arm and at least one more left-handed reliever. If Cherington turns to free agency to address the team's need for another left-handed reliever, veteran Wandy Peralta could be a target.
The 32-year-old Peralta is coming off of a strong season out of the New York Yankee bullpen. Last season, Peralta posted a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings pitched. Peralta walked 13.2% of batters faced, but also struck out 22.5% of opposing batters while limiting opponents to a .188 batting average. He also allowed just 7 home runs (1.17 HR/9)
Peralta's 2023 season built upon the strong 2022 season he had in the Bronx. In 2022, Peralta posted a 2.72 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 7.6% walk rate, and a 21.1% strikeout rate in 56.1 innings pitched. He did an even better job limiting home runs than he did in 2023, posting a 0.32 HR/9.
One potential concern about Peralta could be injury related. He was placed on the injured list in the middle of September with a tricep issue. Due to this, Peralta did not pitch after September 14th. While he is expected to be fully healthy by spring training, there is still always some concern when a player's season ends early due to injury.
Adding Peralta to the back of the Pirate bullpen could address two needs. Not only would he address the need for another quality left-handed reliever, he could also be the additional high-leverage arm that the team needs. This could make Peralta a free agent target for the Pirates.