Whenever the Arizona Diamondbacks took the field over the last several seasons, David Peralta would look out to the left-field stands and pump his arm like a train conductor. The fans would do it right back.
The D-backs traded the fan-favorite “Freight Train” to the Tampa Bay Rays for 19-year-old catching prospect Christian Cerda Saturday, and Peralta had a message for Arizona’s fans while getting interviewed on Bally Sports Arizona after the news dropped.
“It’s just, thank you,” Peralta said. “That’s the only thing I can say. Thank you to the fans in left field who every time I was running to take my position they were always cheering for me, they were doing the train. I just want to say thank you. I’m going to keep all the fans in my heart. I love you with all my heart.
“Thank you and go D-backs.”
“I’m going to keep all the fans in my heart. I love you with all my heart.”
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) July 30, 2022
Peralta was in the D-backs’ organization for a decade and a big-leaguer since 2014. He is third on the franchise leaderboard in games with 961.
The 33-year-old said during the interview the trade is difficult to process. It’s the first time he’s been traded, and he said he asked friends last offseason what it is like.
General manager Mike Hazen told reporters Saturday that he and Peralta had an emotional phone conversation before the deal was announced.
“In one part, I’m sad because I’m leaving the organization, leaving my teammates, they’re all my little brothers,” Peralta said. “On the other side I’m excited to start a new challenge and new journey with a new team.”
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@LosDbacks) July 30, 2022
The D-backs entered their game Saturday 7.5 contests back of a postseason seed, while the Rays are in a wild card spot and give Peralta a greater chance to play late October baseball this year.
Peralta said he’s taking every moment, good and bad, from the past nine seasons with him to Tampa Bay.