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Royals sign pitcher Wily Peralta to a one-year deal

The 28-year old was solid in 2014.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have signed right-handed pitcher Wily Peralta to a one-year deal with an option for 2019, according to beat writer Rustin Dodd. Peralta will earn $1.5 million in 2018 with a $25,000 buyout on a $3 million club option with $1.25 million in incentives. The 28-year old had spent his entire six-year Major League career with the Brewers before he was designated for assignment last July. He has a career 4.48 ERA in 704 23 innings, mostly as a starter, but struggled mightily last year with a 7.85 ERA in 57 13 innings.

Peralta was a Top 100 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America, before the 2012 and 2013 seasons, reaching as high as #56. He made his debut in 2012, and was in the rotation full time by 2013, winning 11 games with a 4.37 ERA that year, although he was a full win below replacement level. His best year came the next year when he won 17 games as a 2.7 WAR pitcher, according to Fangraphs. He struck out 154 in 198 23 innings that year with a 3.53 ERA and 4.11 FIP.

Peralta has struggled in the three years since, missing time in 2015 with an oblique strain, and spending time in the minors after a demotion in 2016. Peralta has an electric arm, averaging 96 mph on his fastball, but that pitch has not exactly been fooling anyone. Over the last three seasons, it has been one of the least-effective fastballs in all of baseball. He also throws a sinker and slider, throwing each pitch about a third of the time.

Dodd hints the Royals may see Peralta as a reliever, which makes sense considering his velocity and lack of success with it. In a shorter role he may be able to amp up his fastball and get better results. Peralta is young enough to still have decent upside, and the cost is low enough that if Peralta is terrible, the Royals can simply cut him without losing much sleep over it.

The Royals just lost Mike Minor, a low-cost gamble that panned out for them, and Peralta represents the next low-cost gamble. Whether the Royals rebuild or simply try to patch together a roster, expect more of these kind of low-cost gambles to try to squeeze out some talent out of their very limited budget.