The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and it's looking more and more like the Cubs will be active up until then.
On Saturday, Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal talked about what teams can be expected to buy and sell leading up to the July 31 deadline. One of the teams he mentioned? The Cubs:
"The timing is significant. The Cubs will be among the teams that are interested if the DBacks sell and make Peralta available. Peralta is the type of professional hitter that the Cubs need. He would increase their outfield depth, bolster their lineup against right-handed pitching, and he has one year of control remaining after this one."
Peralta would be an intriguing fit in the Cubs' outfield. Despite being placed on the IL twice this season with shoulder issues, he's still managed to hit .289/.352/.476 with a .828 OPS and a 112 wRC+ in 73 games. That's marginally better production than what the Cubs are currently getting from their outfield, who are slashing .256/.343/.447 with a .789 OPS and a 105 wRC+ (15th in MLB) as a unit. Peralta's wRC+ would rank 3rd among Cubs' outfielders, only behind Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward, both of who are enjoying career years at the plate.
Peralta's numbers against right-handed pitching alone look even better, as he's currently hitting .319/.379/.546 off righties; since breaking into the majors six years ago, he has a 132 wRC+ against them.
For what it's worth, the Cubs haven't been terrible against right handers this year. As a team, they ended the first half slashing .258/.339/.458 with a .797 OPS and a 105 wRC+ (8th in MLB) off righties. In fact, among OF's who've had at least 200 AB's against right-handed hitters this season, Jason Heyward has the 9th-best wRC+ (131). Peralta has the 11th-best (129).
His contact peripherals are also impressive. As it stands today, Peralta has an average exit velocity in the 70th percentile (90 mph) and a Hard Hit % in the 59th percentile (40.4). Statcast is, however, less bullish on Peralta's defense, as the outfielder comes in with below-average percentiles for Outs Above Average (40th) and Outfield Jump (29th). With that said, FanGraphs credits Peralta with 1.9 Defensive Runs Above Average, the first time in his career he's been rated as a plus defender on their site.
He's currently on a one-year, $7 million deal, and is elligble for his 3rd year of arbitration when the season ends.