We’ve seen this movie before, and we know the ending long before the credits start rolling. One can only hope the Cincinnati Reds front office has learned from their past mistakes, but it appears history may repeat itself. Rumors have circulated this week the Reds are interested in exploring a possible trade for Cleveland Indians shortstop Amed Rosario.
Tell me if this script sounds familiar. A highly touted prospect is dealt away in a blockbuster deal only to be traded away again. Obviously, I’m referring to Amed Rosario, recently acquired by the Indians from the Mets in the Francisco Lindor trade. Still, that exact same scenario also includes former Reds shortstop José Peraza.
Just how similar are Amed Rosario and former Reds shortstop José Peraza?
Both Rosario and Peraza made their major league debuts during their age 21 seasons, receiving little more than a cup of coffee. However, each player saw significant time on the diamond during their second year, with Rosario slightly ahead of the curve heading into year three.
During the 2019 season with the New York Mets, Rosario had a breakout season. Slashing .287/.323/.432 with 15 homers, 72 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases, it appeared the Mets had found their shortstop of the future.
If those numbers look vaguely familiar, they should because they’re nearly identical to what José Peraza posted during his 2018 season in the Queen City. As the Reds starting shortstop, Peraza slashed .288/.326/.416, while smacking 14 home runs, driving in 58, and swiping 23 bases. At just 24 years of age, it appeared Peraza was just getting started.
Amed Rosario and José Peraza struggled after their breakout seasons.
How did each player follow up their breakout season? In a word, poorly, and both were shipped out of town as a result. Last year, during the abbreviated 2020 season, Rosario produced a slash line of just .252/.272/.371 with only four homers and 15 RBIs in 46 games. After swiping 43 bags the previous two seasons, Rosario failed to swipe a base in only one attempt.
Peraza wasn’t any better in 2019. After signing shortstop José Iglesias in spring training, the Reds moved Peraza to second base to replace the injured Scooter Gennett. Not only did Peraza lose his job to Gennett when he returned from the injured list, but he lost it again after Gennett was dealt to the San Francisco Giants and the Reds acquired Freddy Galvis.
In all honestly, José Peraza saw the playing field much more than he deserved in 2019. Accumulating 403 at-bats, Peraza slashed an anemic .239/.285/.346 with six long balls and seven steals. The Reds did not even tender a contract for his services the following offseason making him a free agent.
It’s time for the Reds to roll with José García.
If the Reds would not offer a contract to Peraza, why in the world would they entertain dealing assets to Cleveland for Amed Rosario? An argument could be made the Reds currently don’t have a legitimate shortstop prepared to play a full season at the big league level. This is why it’s time to roll with the 22-year old José García despite his offensive struggles last year.
When it comes to García’s potential for the 2021 campaign, I’ll revert back to something Reds manager David Bell said earlier this offseason regarding the shortstop. Speaking with Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bell was quoted as saying, “Having that experience last season lends me to believe that he’s really close. I think he’s closer than maybe it appeared last season.”
If Bell and Reds GM Nick Krall share the same assessment, the club would be better off letting José García gain experience in the big leagues. We don’t know what kind of player García may become, but we know who Amed Rosario is, and it’s José Peraza.