In reading some articles about Mike Lowell being almost assuredly traded this offseason (the Red Sox signed Adrian Beltre recently, and have already tried unsucesfully to trade Lowell to Texas), and hearing something reported about Peralta not actively being shopped, I wondered if it would be a good idea to trade Peralta before this season. For this season alone, Peralta's contract ($4.6 million) is quite reasonable if he rebounds somewhat from last season's performance and hits his CHONE projection (wOBA .324 with average defense at 3B), but certainly not great bargain. But the final year of his contract (2011) is a team option for $7.0 million, which is worth picking up if Peralta can be expected to produce roughly as well as he did in 2008 (.347 wOBA), not if he is coming off another season like last year's .304 wOBA and no longer at shortstop.
The Minnesota Twins are still in the market for a thirdbaseman as they really don't have many good options currently, and of course there's Mike Lowell and his .346 wOBA in 2009, but entering his age 36 season and under contract for $12 million next season, almost three times the amount it would cost to pay Peralta. Lowell's defense fell off last season, (age, injury) and having to have surgery (which nixed the deal to Texas) this offseason he's not really that good of an option for the Twins. So I'm seeing some room here for us to swoop in and explore what the Twins would be willing to offer in trade.
Now the reason why I wouldn't see a trade happen would include the fact that they are in our division (but I don't think it matters as much this season being that the Indians are rebuilding), and that they'd perhaps be selling low on Peralta. There may be incentive to see if Peralta can turn it up during the first half of this season (his age 28 year) and improve his perceived value. I am wondering if there is a situation where the Indians do pick up that option for 2011? The only way I see that happening is if the Indians demonstrate enough improvement to put us in contention for that season, and Peralta hits like he did in '08. That's alot that has to go right for that to happen. Keeping him through this season and declining his option is possible, but brings nothing in return. Considering Lowell was on his way to netting Max Ramirez who only at 24, but has never been able to hit above AA, though he has reached the majors last season, I'm not sure if Twins would be willing to give up much more than that for Peralta. I feel stuck between not wanting to keep Peralta only to see his option declined and leaving the team without any return vs. selling low on him.