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Yankees sign infielder José Peraza to minor league contract

Just the signing that fans wanted, right?

New York Mets v New York Yankees - Game One Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Blockbuster moves are abound across Major League Baseball. The Rangers signed Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract. Max Scherzer is on the verge of heading to Queens for three years and $130 million. Corey Seager seems like a good bet to come off the board today, too.

Alas, the only news of note worth reporting on the Yankees front is that they’ve signed an infielder, and he’s not even someone who will see extensive playing time in 2022 unless something has gone seriously wrong. It’s José Peraza.

The 27-year-old infielder was inked to a minor league contract yesterday, per the Yankees’ official transaction page. Peraza played 67 games with the Mets last season, batting .204/.266/.380 with six homers and an 80 wRC+. He came up with the Reds as a shortstop but since then has mostly played second base, while also seeing some time at third and in the outfield.

The last time that Peraza had a season worth remembering was in 2018, when he seemed to be hitting his stride with the Reds and hit .288/.326/.416 with 14 homers, a 96 wRC+, and 2.6 fWAR in 157 games. Not much has gone right for Peraza since then, though, and if he makes the 2022 Yankees, it will be as a bench piece. (In fact, Peraza may share the infield in Triple-A with another fellow who has the same surname: esteemed prospect Oswald Peraza.) Frankly, the Yankees can do a lot better, as Peraza’s probably not even an upgrade on the departed Tyler Wade.

Once upon a time, Peraza was a highly valued prospect as well, and GM Brian Cashman was reportedly interested in him back in 2015. Cashman is nothing if not determined to eventually get His Guys*, even if their peak talents are past the expiration date.

*See: “Tulowitzki, Troy” and “Ackley, Dustin” for a couple examples from the past several years.