The St. Louis Cardinals defended the signing of Jhonny Peralta to a four-year deal worth $53 million after he served a 50 game suspension for PED use.
When news of Peralta’s deal broke some eyebrows were raised including those of relief pitchers Brad Ziegler and David Aardsma who questioned the deterrent for players who were caught cheating.
“People really don’t understand how this works. We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it’s not. So we are working on it again.” tweeted Ziegler
Aardsma tweeted “I had 2 major surgeries in 5 months and made it back clean, nothing pisses me off more than guys that cheat and get raises for doing so.”
The Cardinals obviously heard of these comments and others and defended their signing of the 31-year-old who will play shortstop.
“Character and makeup are something we weigh into our decision-making. In his case, he admitted what he did, he took responsibility for it. I feel like he has paid for his mistakes, and obviously if he were to make another one, then it would be a huge disappointment.” General Manager John Mozeliak said during a press conference.
Mozeliak added “I don’t think it’s the Cardinals responsibility necessarily to be the moral police on potentially future employment.”
While he made comments in support of Peralta, Mozeliak tried to play both sides of the table agreeing that 50 game suspensions were not tough enough.
“You do need a deterrent, and right now 50 games does not seem to be necessarily stopping it,” said Mozeliak.
The general manager went on to praise the work baseball has done to clean up its game in terms of PEDs.
Peralta hit .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 107 games for the Tigers last season.