Joel Peralta has been saying even since the season ended that there was nothing he wanted more than to return to the Rays for 2013, and now that has become a reality. As Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 first reported (Spanish link) and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times confirmed, the Rays have re-signed Peralta, and Gomez reported that Peralta received a two-year deal worth 6 million dollars with a 3.5 million dollar option for 2015.
Peralta is 36 years old, not the ideal age for signing a pitcher to a multi-year contract, but Peralta was a late bloomer to begin with, debuting in the big leagues at age 29, and has been great for the Rays the last two seasons, going 5-10 with a 3.27 ERA, a 9.7 K/9, a 2.3 BB/9, and a 1.1 HR/9 in 147 appearances and 134.2 innings pitched. Taking out his first 9 appearances of 2012, Peralta managed a 2.93 ERA in both 2011 and 2012, and he was able to get more strikeouts than ever in 2012, throwing his fastball for strikes a very high percentage of the time with late life and blowing away hitters with his outstanding splitter. Peralta will continue to be a dependable reliever for Joe Maddon setting up Fernando Rodney and the Rays are lucky to keep him aboard on a reasonable contract. Peralta is a very good reliever and having the opportunity to stay exactly where he wants to be in Tampa Bay for the next couple of seasons, he will be as motivated as ever.