Former Brewers Opening Day Starter Signs Minors Deal with NL Central Rival

The MLB veteran pitched for six seasons in Milwaukee.
Apr 26, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta (38) pitches in the first
Apr 26, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta (38) pitches in the first / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Quick! Name the pitcher who started on the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day of the 2016 season.

If you guessed former Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta, then you would be correct! After a five-year stretch where Yovani Gallardo toed the rubber for the Crew on Opening Day and then why Kyle Lohse, Peralta got the call to start on Opening Day of the last season where Milwaukee would both finish with a sub-.500 record and miss the playoffs.

Peralta spent six seasons in a Brewers uniform after being signed way back in 2006. He has spent time in three other organizations since then but did not pitch in the majors during the 2023 season. Now, he's looking to make a return to the bigs with a familiar NL Central foe.

Former Brewers Opening Day starter Wily Peralta agreed to a minor league contract with the Pirates on Wednesday.

According to FanSided's Robert Murray, the ten-year MLB veteran Peralta agreed to a minor league deal with the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. The deal includes an invitation to 2024 spring training.

In the first six years of his career, all spent as a Milwaukee Brewer from 2012 to 2017, Peralta was strictly a starter up until his final year. In 704.2 innings for the Crew, the Dominican hurler went 47-52 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.449 WHIP. But after pitching in just 19 games in 2017, he would become a free agent and sign with the Kansas City Royals.

Peralta would spend two seasons there, pitching only in relief and compiling a 4.82 ERA in 74.2 innings. After becoming a free agent again and spending the shortened 2020 season away from MLB, he would sign with the Detroit Tigers ahead of the 2021 season.

Peralta was primarily a starter for his first season in Detroit and a reliever for his second. Overall, he had some of the better numbers of his career with the Tigers, pitching to the tune of a 2.93 ERA and 1.386 WHIP over 132 innings. Still, he was designated for assignemnt late in 2022 and ultimately released.

Peralta would sign a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals last season with an invite to spring training but would spend the entire year with their Triple-A Rochester club. After electing free agency once again after the season, the 34-year-old now will go through the same process with the Pirates.

The Pirates have brought in multiple pitchers to add to the mix this offseason so Peralta has his work cut out for him. It would be fun, though, if he can make the squad and Brewers fans can see an old friend on the field once again.