ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A lineup that has been ravaged by injuries got a boost Saturday afternoon when the Rays acquired veteran left-handed hitting outfielder David Peralta from the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league catcher Christian Cerda.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Peralta, the Rays designated pitcher Angel Perdomo for assignment. The Rays claimed Perdomo off waivers from Milwaukee on July 19. He appeared in three games with Triple-A Durham.
Peralta was in Atlanta with the Diamondbacks and will likely be available for Sunday afternoon’s series finale against Cleveland.
Peralta, who turns 35 on August 14, was hitting .248 with 12 homers, 41 RBI and a .776 OPS in 87 games with Arizona. He is a career .283 hitter with 101 home runs and an .803 OPS in 961 games, all with the Diamondbacks for whom he debuted in 2014 at age 26.
Peralta’s lone postseason experience consists of four games in 2017 when Arizona defeated Colorado in the National League wild card game before being swept by the Dodgers in the division series. Now, he joins a team that is battling for a playoff spot.
“It was a sad moment for me, for sure,” Peralta said of when he learned he was being dealt away from the only team with which he has played, in a phone call with the media late Saturday afternoon. “On the other side, I was really excited and happy that the Rays were interested in me and believe that I can help them get to the playoffs.”
Led by the .312 he hit in 2015, his first full season in the big leagues, Peralta has twice hit .300. He also had a career-high 30 homers in 2018.
“I think the veteran player part of it is very important to this group,” said Rays general manager Peter Bendix, following Saturday’s 6-4 win over Cleveland. “It’s a really young group that is really talented and hasn’t necessarily played to their full capabilities. I think that having that veteran player can really balance things out and really complement things. It is not always going to be this clean and easy where you just add a veteran player, but this one came together in a way that we liked.”
Peralta, who is nicknamed Freight Train, has primarily played left field throughout his career and Bendix said that he would be in the outfield and designated hitter mix. The new addition also gives manager Kevin Cash a strong left-handed bat.
“He’s got a track record of just playing solid baseball, solid in left and certainly solid with the bat,” said manager Kevin Cash. “He has done a good job of hitting right-handed pitching this year.”
Peralta is hitting .267 with an .823 OPS against right-handers this season and has career marks of .296 and .843. He is hitting .239 with .671 OPS in his career against lefties.
“He has a history of offensive performance that we really liked,” said Bendix. “We think he is somebody that can stabilize our lineup.”