Jhonny Peralta could be the perfect free agent for the Yankees right now. He plays shortstop and third base, has an offensive track record better than Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix, recently returned from a steroid suspension that could harm his market, and won't cost a draft pick. He's going to be looking for a starter, and even though he doesn't exactly have a clear place to play, between Derek Jeter's injury concerns and the uncertainty surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Peralta to the Yankees doesn't sound too farfetched.
As long as the deal is reasonable, that is. The Yankees were said to have contacted him recently in hopes of seeing what kind of contract he's looking for. Now it's being said that Peralta has a four-year, $56 million contract in hand and is already seeking upwards of five years, $75 million. He's been contacted by the Mets, Mariners, and Orioles so far and others are likely to be interested as well, considering the thin market for infielders.
As much as the Yankees need an option at third base and shortstop in case their plans at either base fall through, that sounds like a pretty steep contract for someone with a bat that fluctuates between below and above-average and a glove that has been consistently bad (-16 DRS at SS, -4 DRS at 3B). It just doesn't sound like you'd be getting enough back for a contract that would cost around $14 million a year, and he's still looking for more.
It obviously could just be a play to drive up costs, but still, Peralta is a player I would sign to a three-year deal, at most. Unfortunately, the alternatives out there aren't going to help make that into a reality. If this deal is from the Yankees, I suppose you can bite the bullet and at least appreciate what he'll bring to the table over Nunez, Nix or Brendan Ryan. He would essentially be the future replacement for Jeter. The Yankees might have to overpay him if they want him to accept a job that could already be filled. That might not be the best way to go about this, so let's hope this deal is from someone else.