Rumor Central: What is Jhonny Peralta's future with the Cardinals?

Jhonny Peralta is in the final season of a four-year, $53 million contract with the Cardinals. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Jhonny Peralta's future with the St. Louis Cardinals is murky, but it could be a bit clearer once second baseman Kolten Wong (left elbow strain) returns from the disabled list.

Rumor Central

"The Cardinals do have a roster decision looming as second baseman Kolten Wong nears a return from the disabled list," writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. "At that point, the club will likely decide whether to stick with Peralta or keep Paul DeJong on the big-league roster."

The Cards' Opening Day third baseman, Peralta was out for a month with an upper respiratory illness starting in late April. Jedd Gyorko played so well in Peralta's place that he earned the starting job at third, with Peralta now listed second for the position on the team's depth chart. DeJong, called up to start in place of Wong, is batting .290 with nine hits, three of those for extra bases, and four RBIs through his first nine big-league games.

Peralta had a strong spring training but has struggled offensively since coming off the DL. He is the only player in the majors with at least 50 plate appearances and no extra-base hit or RBI this season. The 35-year-old started twice in this past weekend's series vs. the Cubs with Gyorko on paternity leave, going a mere 1-for-8.

Defensively, Peralta has indicated to the Cardinals that he's not interested "in moving around" and prefers to play third or shortstop, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Langosch notes that DeJong offers more defensive versatility than Peralta.

According to Goold, Peralta has provided the Cardinals with a list of 10 teams to which he'd accept a trade. The veteran has limited no-trade protection in his contract.

A three-time All-Star, Peralta is in the final year of a four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals and will be a free agent in 2018 at the earliest.

-- Alex Tekip