Tigers deal for shortstop in wake of possible suspension for Peralta

DETROIT — Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta spoke with reporters before and after Wednesday’s 11-1 win over the Nationals at Comerica Park.

Peralta, who has been linked to a Major League Baseball Biogenesis investigation that has already resulted in a 65-game suspension for Ryan Braun, had previously declined to comment.

“I don’t feel nervous,” said Peralta, who could face a lengthy suspension. “But yeah, you know, I worry a little bit. I want to play everyday here. I love to be in Detroit and play with the team.”

Peralta said he’s just trying to stay focused and play baseball one day after the Tigers acquired an insurance policy: Slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox. They sent minor league outfielder Avisail Garcia to the Chicago White Sox and pitcher Brayan Villarreal to the Red Sox. The White Sox sent right-hander Jake Peavy to the Red Sox.

Asked if he thought it was wrong that he’s caught up in this situation and is on the list, Peralta said: “I mean, yeah, it’s wrong. Whatever happens right now, I need to fight and try to move on.”

Asked in the morning if he would appeal if he is suspended, Peralta said: “I don’t have a comment yet. I try to see what’s better for everybody and see what can happen.”

Asked again after the game, in which he went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored, if he might appeal, Peralta said: “That’s what we need to talk about it.”

Peralta said he would need to talk to Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Peralta was asked if he has been asked to testify of if anyone has asked about any evidence: “I don’t talk to nobody yet.”

Dombrowski acknowledged that the possibility of Peralta being suspended was a reason why the Tigers were part of the three-way trade with the White Sox and Red Sox.

A number of players will reportedly receive 50-game suspensions soon, possibly on Friday.

“The more we talked about our scenario, if there is a lengthy suspension in which Jhonny does not play — and I do not know where that stands — we now feel very well protected with someone we like a great deal,” Dombrowski said in the early hours Wednesday after the three-way trade was completed. “We didn’t feel protected for a lengthy period with the guys we had internally the more we talked about it.”

Peralta said he hasn’t heard anything about a suspension coming down.

“I don’t hear nothing,” Peralta said. “Try to play this game. I know I’m still here. I don’t worry about nothing.”

Asked about the season he has had, Peralta said: “It feel really good, you know. I doing really good job. I think this is the best year that I’ve had right now. Try to keep it going and see what happens.”

He said it would be disappointing if he has to stop playing “but there’s nothing I can do. I try to do the best I can do and try to help everybody here.”

Peralta is hitting .307 with 119 hits, 53 RBIs and 48 runs scored in 101 games this season.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland did not want to comment on the possibility that Peralta could be facing a suspension.

“We did not have a shortstop problem, but the Tigers just enhanced their shortstop situation for quite a while,” Leyland said of the Iglesias trade. “Because Peralta’s a good shortstop and you picked up a guy that could play all around that appears to be headed toward the shortstop of the future for the Detroit Tigers for a long time. That’s pretty good.”

Leyland said he doesn’t worry about things he can’t control.

“Don’t ask me anything about the Peralta situation,” Leyland said. “Don’t ask me anything about it. All of that is Major League Baseball – if you want the answer to any of those questions call the Commissioner’s office.”

How much would the team miss Peralta’s bat?

“I think you’re going to miss Jhonny Peralta’s bat if something happens,” Leyland said. “I don’t know that anything is going to happen and I’m not going to comment on it until something does happen.”

Leyland went on to say that “up to this point, I think Jhonny Peralta was one of the best trades that Dave Dombrowski made and it never gets any credit. Nobody ever talks about it.”

Of course, much has been written about Peralta and how that trade has worked well in the Tigers’ favor.

The Tigers dealt minor-league left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto to Indians for Peralta and cash considerations on July 28, 2010. At the time, Peralta helped fill-in for an injured Brandon Inge at third base.

Peralta was an All-Star for the Tigers in 2011 and again this season.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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