Should the Cincinnati Reds reunite with former shortstop José Peraza?

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds fields a ground ball. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds fields a ground ball. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

José Peraza could be a stopgap option for the Reds at shortstop.

The Cincinnati Reds are on the prowl for a shortstop and it just so happens that a new name has appeared in the free agent market. José Peraza was outrighted by the Boston Red Sox and elected free agency. Should the Reds explore reuniting with the player who led the team in hits during the 2018 season?

Admittedly, I’m a big fan of José Peraza and not a happy camper when the Reds non-tendered the infielder last winter. That said, I understood the reasoning, as the production that Peraza put up during the 2019 season did not warrant the price tag he was likely to earn in 2020 through the arbitration process.

Peraza ended up signing a one-year/$3M contract with the Boston Red Sox last offseason, but his production was still not there. Last season, in just 34 games, Peraza hit .225/.275/.342 with one home run and eight RBIs. This after Peraza slashed .239/.285/.346 in 2019.

No, José Peraza is not a long-term answer to the vacancy at shortstop, but he may be good enough to hold the position down until José García is ready for the big leagues. García struggled against major league pitching during his time with the Reds this season, but that’s to be expected seeing as how he never played above A-Ball.

The Cincinnati Reds could do a whole lot worse than Peraza, but does he offer anything more than Kyle Farmer if he were tabbed as the everyday shortstop. What about Alex Blandino? It’s hard to argue that Peraza would be a better option than either of the Reds current in-house options to take over for free agent shortstop Freddy Galvis.

While my heart would love to see José Peraza back in the Queen City, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure, the team could bring him in on a minor-league deal, but Peraza is not the type of player that would thrive in David Bell’s system.

Bell changes lineups more often than some people change their socks, meaning a role player like Peraza would likely get two, maybe three starts per week. We saw in 2019 how much that affected his production from the year before when, at 24-year old, Peraza hit .288/.326/.416 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. If that was the version of Peraza the Reds would be getting, count me in.

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But, after two down years, it seems highly unlikely the now 26-year-old can recapture that swing that saw him come within four hits of Barry Larkin’s single season hits record for a shortstop. Reds fans should wish Peraza well, but his talents would be best utilized elsewhere.