The Red Sox head down to Tampa this weekend for a four-game set against the Rays, and before that gets started they have some roster decisions to make following Tuesday’s doubleheader in Philadelphia. They have made one of those moves as of Thursday morning. It was actually reflected in the team’s official transaction log on Wednesday and was first pointed out by Chris Hatfield of Sox Prospects.
The Red Sox transactions page shows Jose Peraza as being optioned to the ATS yesterday. No announcement otherwise.— Chris Hatfield (@SPChrisHatfield) September 10, 2020
Interesting move in what seems to be a last ditch effort to see if there's anything there. Currently looking like he'll be non-tendered this offseason.
Peraza was brought in on a low-cost deal over the offseason to fill the hole at second base, or at least split time there with Michael Chavis. When the season finally got underway, it became clear that he was the preferred option by the team as a youngish player with some major-league success under his belt and multiple years of control beyond 2020. As we preach on this site time and time again, though, years of control only matter if they’re good, and as Hatfield mentions in the tweet above it looks likely that Peraza will be non-tendered after the season.
To put it simply, he just hasn’t worked out. His style of offense that features little in the way of power or patience relies on a ton of contact and turning that contact into hits at a rate well above the league-average. That hasn’t happened in 2020, and before being optioned Peraza hit .225/.275/.342 for a 62 wRC+. That means he was 38 percent worse than league-average, and it is actually his second straight year with that exact mark.
With his absence, the Red Sox can now can more consistent looks for others both at second base and in left field. I would expect to see Michael Chavis get plenty of time in both spots, and I’d also look for a lot of Jonathan Araúz and Christian Arroyo over at second base. This also indirectly opens up more time for Bobby Dalbec with Chavis presumably playing more consistently at the other two spots.
It’s also worth mentioning that Deivy Grullón was also optioned back down, per the linked transaction report above. Grullón was the 29th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader and started the nightcap. That he has been sent back down would presumably mean Kevin Plawecki is good to go this weekend after getting his with a pitch in the hand last weekend.
The corresponding roster move for Peraza has not yet been announced, but after optioning Matt Hall for a position player I’d expect a pitcher to come back up. We will update this post when it is announced who will be taking that spot.
Update (3:40 PM ET)