The Boston Red Sox announced an interesting signing on Friday as they came to terms with infielder Jose Peraza of Barinas, Venezuela to a one year contract worth $3 million. Peraza, who played last season with the Cincinnati Reds, could see regular playing time in Boston this season at second base, particularly if Dustin Pedroia’s knee continues to become a major issue.
In 2019, Peraza batted .239 with six home runs and 33 runs batted in. He had 376 at bats and scored 37 runs and had 90 hits, 18 doubles, two triples, seven stolen bases, 17 walks, an on base percentage of .285, a slugging percentage of .346, 130 total bases and two sacrifice flies.
Peraza has five seasons of Major League Baseball experience as he spent one year with the Los Angeles Dodgers before four seasons in Cincinnati. From a statistical analysis perspective, Peraza has had a solid offensive season in even years. In 2016, he batted .324 in 72 games and in 2018, he batted .288 in 157 games.
The Red Sox were in need of an infielder because Brock Holt and Chris Owings, who saw playing time at second base down the stretch for the Red Sox last season, are free agents. Boston also has Marco Hernandez in the mix as a possible second baseman. However, he brings a little less experience to the table than Peraza does.
One area of concern for Peraza could be his defense. In 2018, Peraza had a fielding percentage of .963, which ranked him only 22nd in Major League Baseball among shortstops. In 2019, Peraza only played 39 games at shortstop for Cincinnati after 156 games between second and third base in 2018. Peraza saw more action at second base (78 games) and the outfield (35 games) in 2019, showing his value as a utility player.
The Red Sox and Reds had rather disappointing 2019 Major League Baseball regular seasons. The Red Sox were 19 games back of the New York Yankees in the American League East, while the Reds were 16 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.