Jace Peterson has been unable to lock down an everyday role for the Braves over the past two seasons after racking up 152 games for Atlanta in 2015. He's shown flashes of tools at times, but a lack of efficiency on the basepaths (22-for-37 on stolen-base attempts) has limited his chances to run, as has his modest OBP (career .319) despite his ability to draw free passes (career 10.7 percent walk rate). The Braves declined to tender Peterson a contract in December, making him a free agent, and leading them to look elsewhere for bench help during the offseason. If he ends up inking a deal prior to the start of spring training, it will likely be a non-guaranteed contract, and he could be forced to spend time at Triple-A in order to get another look at the big-league level. Peterson turns 28 in May, making it unlikely that he will garner more than a reserve role as a left-handed bat off the bench capable of handling multiple spots defensively.
Peterson signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on Friday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports. Atlanta declined to tender Peterson a contract for this upcoming season, and now the 27-year-old will look to latch on with the Yankees on this minor-league deal. He played in 89 big-league games last year, slashing .215/.318/.317 with two home runs and 17 RBI. He will likely begin the year in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre due to the overload of talent in the Yankees' outfield, but should serve as reliable depth for the club in 2018.
The Braves declined to tender Peterson a contract for 2018, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Peterson has shown good patience at the plate over the years with a double-digit walk rate, but he does little else, offensively. He's still just 27 years old, but Peterson looks very much like a career utility type/fringe major leaguer.
Peterson is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Marlins. Peterson has been filling in for the injured Matt Kemp (hamstring) in left field, but he'll get the day off after starting five of the last six games. In his place, Lane Adams will start and hit eighth.
Peterson will start in left field and bat eighth Monday against the Mets in Game 1 of a doubleheader. The continued absence of Matt Kemp (hamstring) has opened up an everyday role in left field for more than a week, and it appears Peterson has emerged as the preferred option at the position. While Matt Adams has typically manned a corner outfield spot this season when one of the Braves' regular options is injured or in need of a breather, his poor defense and status as an impending free agent have likely influenced manager Brian Snitker to turn in Peterson's direction. The spike in playing time enhances Peterson's fantasy outlook, but since he's slashing a meager .214/.316/.315 with only two home runs and three stolen bases in 194 plate appearances, there's not much value to be found here.
Peterson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday. With Sean Rodriguez getting traded to the Pirates, Peterson simply slots into the utility infielder role with the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Johan Camargo should play almost every day up the middle, so Peterson's playing time will be scant. He is hitting .187/.275/.268 with one home run and two steals in 138 big-league plate appearances this season.