LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers’ outfield just got a little more crowded.
Long-time Arizona Diamondback fixture David Peralta is the latest veteran free agent to agree to a one-year contract with the Dodgers for 2023 (joining pitcher Noah Syndergaard, DH J.D. Martinez, outfielder Jason Heyward and pitcher Shelby Miller). Peralta will make a base salary of $6.5 million with incentives that could push it as high as $8 million, according to reports.
Peralta joins a crowded group of outfielders that will compete for roles this spring. The 35-year-old Peralta, Heyward, fellow non-roster invitees Bradley Zimmer and Steven Duggar and rookie James Outman are the left-handed options with Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson the right-handed options.
Only Betts’ role – every-day right fielder – is a certainty with the others presenting Manager Dave Roberts with options in center and left field.
Peralta has been primarily a left fielder during a nine-year career spent with the Diamondbacks until a midseason trade to the Tampa Bay Rays last season. A career .281 hitter with a .796 OPS, Peralta’s best seasons were 2018, when he hit .293 with 30 home runs and won a Silver Slugger award, and 2019, when he won a Gold Glove award.
Peralta began his playing career as a pitcher, signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. After a series of injuries including two shoulder surgeries, the Cardinals released Peralta in 2009. He made a comeback as an outfielder, playing in independent leagues for three seasons before signing with the Diamondbacks and making the big leagues in 2014.
Peralta is on the roster for Venezuela’s team in the World Baseball Classic.