The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year deal for about $3 million with free agent infielder Jose Peraza, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Peraza was non-tendered by the Reds earlier this month, hitting free agency.
Peraza, 25, hit .239/.285/.346 with 18 doubles, six homers, 33 RBI, 37 runs and seven steals in 403 plate appearances for the Reds last season. He was a roughly league average hitter in 2018 while putting up 2.3 WAR, as opposed to -0.9 last year, so the Red Sox will be looking to get the 2018 version.
Primarily a shortstop or second baseman, Peraza has also seen time at third base, left field and center field.
With Dustin Pedroia down for a while, and let's face it, his health can't be counted on moving forward, second base appears to be open on the Red Sox. Given that reports have indicated all offseason that they are looking to slash payroll instead of adding to it, the likely idea here is Peraza is going to be the everyday second baseman to open the season in Boston.
That sets the infield of Michael Chavis, Peraza, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi as the outfield for the time being. It's still possible Bradley and/or Betts gets moved at some point this offseason in order to save money. Betts is a free agent after this season, so his status is tricky, though the Red Sox have continued to comment publicly that they would prefer to keep him.
Recent rumors indicate it's more likely David Price gets traded and that could clear enough payroll to keep Betts. Perhaps in doing so, they find someone else who could compete for the second base job.
For now, it looks like the Red Sox found their cheap option to hold down second base.