December 9: Peterson will be paid $9.5MM on the deal, per Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
December 6: The A’s have agreed to a two-year deal with utilityman Jace Peterson, FanSided’s Robert Murray reports (Twitter link). The contract will become official when Peterson passes a physical. Peterson is represented by ISE Baseball.
Except for catcher, the versatile Peterson has played at every position on the diamond during his nine MLB seasons, even tossing four innings of mop-up work in blowout games. Most of Peterson’s experience has come at second base and third base, and the hot corner was essentially his primary position (86 appearances) with the Brewers in 2022. It seems quite possible third base could again be Peterson’s main landing spot in Oakland, depending on how much the A’s want to use other options as Vimael Machin or Kevin Smith. However, Peterson’s multi-positional ability gives manager Mark Kotsay plenty of options in juggling playing time.
Though the two-year contract gives Peterson some extra security, it is probably fair to assume that the rebuilding Athletics will still be open to shopping the veteran prior to the trade deadline. Still, the two-year commitment indicates the value the A’s see in having a player who can plug so many roster holes, especially since Oakland probably isn’t done shaking up its roster. The A’s might have had to offer that second guaranteed year to beat the market for Peterson, given how he is the type of valuable bench depth that would fit on many teams, both contenders and non-contenders.
Peterson (who turns 33 in May) showed his worth over three seasons in Milwaukee, helping the Brewers reach the postseason twice. Not only was Peterson able to step in when Brewers starters were injured, but he also showed some pop at the plate, hitting a respectable .238/.337/.373 (98 wRC+) over 691 plate appearances with the Crew. Peterson was also a quietly excellent baserunner, stealing 23 bases in 25 tries and rating highly on Fangraphs’ baserunning metrics.
Once Peterson passes his physical, the A’s will officially have a player under contract for the 2023 season. It speaks to the depths of Oakland’s rebuild that not a single player on their roster is technically guaranteed money, as the roster is comprised of arbitration-eligible players and mostly pre-arb players. The Athletics are naturally not going to be big spenders in any regard this winter, and it seems likely that any expenditures will be relatively lower-cost veteran additions like Peterson.