Wandy Peralta joins departed Yankees on west coast with wild free agent contract

Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Consider Wandy Peralta an honorary member of the Juan Soto trade with the San Diego Padres, because the lefty reliever is headed across the country, as his New York Yankees tenure has officially come to an end.

Though there was speculation the two sides could work out a reunion, Peralta has chosen the Pads on a truly wild contract. Per reports, it's a four-year, $16.5 million deal with THREE opt outs.

Might this have been a fit for New York? Certainly, though Peralta's iffy peripheral metrics in 2023, as well as the fact he's entering his age-32 season allowed for many concerns. Throw in the Yankees being over the $300 million mark with their payroll, and any 2024 investment was going to count as double (if Peralta's making $4 million this year, it would've been $8 million due to accrued tax penalties).

Additionally, the Yankees have learned their lesson investing in veteran bullpen arms over the course of three-plus years. Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton burned them. They got rid of the only one that would've been worth the money (Andrew Miller).

New York's ability to find under-the-radar relief talent, maximize it, and start the process all over again has given them little reason to spend on this area of the roster the last few years.

Wandy Peralta joins departed Yankees on west coast with wild free agent contract

The Padres, on the other hand, have had trouble with that. Though AJ Preller is tremendous at scouting and drafting talent, San Diego's pitching, specifically the bullpen, hasn't exactly pushed the team forward.

He started to fix that problem by acquiring Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez in the Soto trade with New York, and adding Peralta into the mix as the fifth horseman will certainly improve their 2024 outlook.

In the end, it's a relatively low-risk investment that gives Peralta an advantage should he out-perform his 2023 numbers this coming season.

Yankees fans will be wishing nothing but the best for the crafty reliever. He was a huge trade win for the Yanks when he was acquired from the Giants for Mike Tauchman, and he embraced the fanbase during his tenure.

The former Yankee reunion in 2024 will take place in San Diego from May 24-26. We'll see ya there!