José Peraza, Shortstop
Out of all the players that could conceivably receive a long-term deal from the Cincinnati Reds this offseason, José Peraza may be the most likely. Peraza had a very good season in 2018 and could easily be the Reds breakout player in 2019. Would it behoove the Reds to lock up Peraza in the same way they did his fellow countryman Eugenio Suárez last offseason?
I think this option is very much on the table for the Reds. Peraza looks like a player that the team could build around for the next 5-6 years. In his first full season at shortstop, Peraza hit .288 with a .326 on-base percentage, 31 doubles, 14 homers, 58 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases. Peraza’s defense was not stellar, and that’s an area of concern. However, adjusting to playing shortstop exclusively is going to take some time and Peraza will likely improve.
With new hitting coach Turner Ward now on staff, how much better might Peraza perform at the plate? He led the entire National League in singles (182) last season and showed a tremendous increase in power. I don’t know where new manager David Bell plans to put Peraza in the lineup, but I hope it’s somewhere near the top.
What might a contract for Peraza look like? I think you could use the one that Suárez signed last offseason and go from there. Lookin back now, Geno’s deal looks like an incredible bargain, so Peraza may be inclined to look for larger contract.
José Peraza does not become a free agent until after the 2022, so the Reds have three more years to decide what to do with his situation long-term. However, what appears to be a team-friendly contract that Suárez signed last offseason has to be on the Reds’ minds. If Peraza improves on last year’s solid campaign, his price tag is only going to get higher.