Bottom line: 7.25 million reasons why Peralta wants to be a Tiger again next year
Peralta was 7.25 million reasons to hope and pray the Tigers bring him back.
But let's get real here: Peralta's reasons for wanting to return have nothing to do with his new teammates in the Tigers' clubhouse ("I like everybody here"), his high regard for manager Jim Leyland ("He's the kind of guy I feel comfortable around"), or the city and suburbs that surround Comerica Park ("I feel happy here").
Peralta wants to remain a Tiger because he knows he will make much, much more money here next season -- maybe twice as much -- than he stands to make anywhere else.
If the Tigers decide to exercise the club option in Peralta's contract and bring him back next year, either as their everyday shortstop or as a replacement for Brandon Inge at third base "(I don't care about the position"), they will be obligated to pay him $7.25 million.
However, if they elect not to exercise that option, they will only owe him a $250,000 parting gift and Peralta will immediately become a free agent.
However, in Peralta's case, that opportunity is not nearly as inviting as it sounds.
As a free agent on the open market, Peralta, a career .265 hitting who is batting .242 this season, probably won't be offered more than $3-4 million for one year or $6-7 for two -- if that.
Remember, the Cleveland Indians, who know him best, let him go because they didn't want to pay him $7 million next year. And it was the Indians who agreed to put that onerous option clause in Peralta's contract in the first place.
Peralta is making a career-high $4.85 million this year.
If they so desire, the Tigers could let Peralta walk, then try to resign him as a free agent for a significantly reduced price.
If that happens, we will see him much Peralta truly likes it here.