The Yankees have agreed to a minors pact with infielder Jace Peterson, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The 27-year-old will receive an invitation to MLB camp this spring and can earn at a $900K rate in the majors, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
Peterson, 27, figures to have a chance at earning a role in the Yankees’ infield rotation, which remains in flux after the organization dealt away veterans Chase Headley and Starlin Castro earlier this winter. It’s still possible that the organization will add some significant pieces, but Peterson could contend for a reserve position regardless.
The Braves could have retained Peterson via arbitration at a projected rate of just $1.1MM. But Atlanta decided it was time to move on after a year in which he slashed just .215/.318/.317 over 215 plate appearances.
If things work out, the Yanks could yet control Peterson for two or more seasons through the arb process. Peterson has just 3.003 years of service, so if he spends a bit of time in the minors to open the year, it’s possible he’d still have three years of control ahead of him.
It’s worth remembering that Peterson was not long ago considered a quality prospect. And he did turn in a .254/.350/.366 output, with 52 walks against 69 strikeouts, over 408 plate appearances in 2016. Peterson has also shown wide platoon splits; while that doesn’t bode well for his potential to one day turn into a regular, it does suggest that he could be more useful to an organization that is able to pair him with other players.