Red Sox release veteran third baseman Jhonny Peralta
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox announced on Thursday that they have released veteran third baseman Jhonny Peralta, who had been playing in Pawtucket.
The ears of Red Sox Nation perked up with the news that the team had released a veteran third baseman. No, it’s not the one you were thinking of. Pablo Sandoval remains with the organization, at least for now.
The Jhonny Peralta era on the other hand has come to an end. The Red Sox announced that they have released the veteran third baseman, who they signed to a minor league deal last month.
The 35-year old appeared in 21 games for the St. Louis Cardinals before being waived earlier this season. He hit .204/.259/.204 in 54 at-bats, all of which were easily career-lows. A Red Sox team in desperate need of finding a solution to their revolving door at third base scooped him up off the scrap heap and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.
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The recent play of Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin has helped solidify the third base position in Boston, creating less of a need to turn to Peralta. The 15-year veteran has a strong track record across stints in Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis, but has appeared to be a shell of his former self over the past two seasons.
Peralta did himself no favors by struggling at the Triple-A level. He hit a paltry .200 with a .570 OPS and 11 strikeouts in 40 at-bats with Pawtucket.
Boston will continue to get by with the Marrero/Lin platoon in the short term. Sandoval’s rehab clock expires on Sunday, which will likely force the team to add him back to the roster despite that his production in Triple-A wasn’t any more encouraging than Peralta’s. It’s a heck of a lot easier to cut a guy on a minor league deal than it is to swallow the remaining albatross contract of a player owed over $37 million beyond this season. So Sandoval gets to stay while Peralta is off in search of a new home.
The opening on the depth chart at third base means a promotion to Pawtucket may be immanent for top prospect Rafael Devers. The 20-year old is lighting up Double-A Portland to the tune of a .300 average, .944 OPS and 18 home runs this season. The unfinished product isn’t quite ready to leap to the majors, although a September call-up can’t be ruled out if he flourishes at the Triple-A level.
Third base remains one of the weak spots on the Red Sox roster as we approach the trade deadline. Marrero and Lin are fine stopgaps for now, but a team with playoff aspirations could use a more reliable option.