Friday has been a day about adding depth to areas of the roster that are badly in need of it. After claiming Doug Fister off waivers to help out the rotation, the Red Sox went out and signed Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal.
Red Sox have agreed to a minor league deal with Jhonny Peralta. He'll report to Pawtucket next week.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 23, 2017
We recently covered whether or not the Red Sox should make this move, so I won’t go deep into the pros and cons here. Instead, I’ll simply point out that in 371 plate appearances since the start of last season the infielder has hit .251/.299/.376 for an OPS+ of 80. He has also taken a major step back defensively since his prime.
Still, it goes without saying that the Red Sox need whatever help they can get at third base. The presumption is that they will make a move next month to cover the position, and there’s also an outside chance they’ll forgo that and promote Rafael Devers for the stretch run. Until they make that call, though, they have to simply throw whatever they can find at the wall and hope something sticks. Peralta won’t get that chance right away, but there’s almost no harm in seeing what happens.
I say almost because there is the fact that the Red Sox have said multiple times that they want to get Devers some time in Triple-A before deciding on whether or not he’s ready for the majors. Presumably Peralta will be playing third base in Pawtucket — which is where he’ll start his Red Sox career — and that would block any forthcoming promotion of Devers. There’s time to sort all of this out, of course, and it will cost Boston essentially nothing in terms of money for the chance to see if Peralta has anything left in the tank. One would think they’ll be re-evaluating the situation in a couple of weeks, though. For now, Devers will stay in Portland and Peralta will try to prove he’s worth a major-league roster spot. I’m not holding my breath, but it’s worth a shot in the short-term.