Cubs' defense up the middle makes Wandy Peralta a perfect free agent match

With a pair of Gold Glovers up the middle behind him, the veteran left-hander could be a dominant force in Chicago.

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

The New York Mets and New York Yankees are both extremely interested in free agent reliever Wandy Peralta, going head-to-head for the veteran left-hander. But the Chicago Cubs might be an even better fit for a guy who's established himself as a guy who keeps the ball on the ground better than almost anyone else out there.

Peralta, who has an impressive 2.82 ERA across 165 appearances over the last three seasons with the Yankees, has found success by keeping the ball on the ground - something that would line up perfectly with the Cubs' defense up the middle.

With a pair of Gold Glove winners cemented as a double play combo and the game's most highly regarded outfield prospect expected to seize the center field job soon, Peralta could benefit from an elite defensive group behind him in Chicago. And let's not sleep on the supporting cast, either - especially Ian Happ in left, who has two Gold Gloves of his own for his work in the outfield.

Cubs defense could help Wandy Peralta establish himself as a shutdown weapon

Peralta will no doubt command a multi-year deal, something Jed Hoyer has shown a newfound willingness to offer this offseason, but it feels unlikely the Cubs make another significant addition to the relief corps after landing Hector Neris over the weekend. Still, the fit here is perfect - and adding a proven left-handed option would go a long way toward cementing this bullpen mix as one of the better in the league.

The 32-year-old ranked in the 94th percentile in terms of ground ball rate last year and was also good at limiting hard contact. He ran into some control issues that were very out of character, but there's hope that was a blip on the radar as opposed to a new trend for the southpaw.

Again, it feels like the Cubs will roll into camp with their current bullpen mix - but Peralta would be a big get for the team, especially with both New York clubs circling with their sights set on him.