Peralta to Play Ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Joel Peralta is headed to the West Coast…

The 38-year-old Dominican veteran relief pitcher has been acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with minor league left-hander Adam Liberatore, from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for young right-handers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Joel Peralta

The move was the first Major League Baseball (MLB) trade under new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who spent 10 years in the Rays’ front office.

Peralta pitched 69 games for the Rays last season, going 3-4 with a 4.41 ERA. In 10 seasons with five teams starting with the Los Angeles Angels, Peralta has a 3.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

The Rays recently picked up a $2.5 million option on Peralta for 2015.

“Joel’s significance to the Rays transcended his on-field performance,” Rays general manager Matt Silverman said in a statement. “He was a clubhouse leader who always sought ways to make the organization better.”

Dominguez, 24, was among the hardest throwers in the Dodgers’ organization. He pitched in 14 games over the past two seasons, with a 6.14 ERA.

Harris, 20, was 7-6 with a 4.45 ERA at Class A Great Lakes last season.

Liberatore, 27, was drafted in the 21st round by the Rays in 2010. He went 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA at Triple-A Durham.

The Dodgers invested heavily in their bullpen last winter, but it proved a disappointment in the regular season — ranking 12th in the National League with a 3.80 ERA — and a major liability in the playoffs.

The Rays also designated veteran catcher Jose Molina for assignment.

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