Typically, players have three option seasons with one used each season during which the player spends at least 20 days on optional assignment in the minor leagues. A player is considered to be on optional assignment when on a club’s 40-man roster but sent to the minor leagues while not on a rehab assignment. Both Peraza and Gomez were first added to the club’s 40-man roster back in November of 2020 and has been optioned to the minor leagues in each of the three seasons since, spending at least 20 days in the minor leagues each time. Under normal circumstances, that would leave them out of options headed into the 2024 season, meaning the Yankees would either have to expose either player to waivers before attempting to return him to the minor leagues.
Occasionally, teams are granted a fourth option year on certain players, typically due to the player missing significant time with injury. MLB.com explains that players with less than five full professional seasons (defined as at least 90 days on a major or minor league active roster) are eligible for a fourth option year. In Gomez’s case, the right-hander spend significant time on the injured list in both 2021 and 2022 due to a combination of COVID-19, shoulder issues and Tommy John surgery. That time spent rehabbing left him without full professional seasons in either year. Meanwhile, Peraza spent less than 90 days on active rosters in both 2018 and 2019, meaning the infielder has just four full professional seasons: in 2017, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Gil’s situation is somewhat different than that of Gomez and Peraza, as the 25-year-old was actually added to the 40-man roster back in late 2019 and optioned during the 2020, 2021, and 2022 campaigns. However, the right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2022 and did not return to a major or minor league active roster until September of 2023, meaning Gil did not participate in a full professional season in either of the past two years, making him eligible for a fourth option year as well.
The news provides the Yankees with additional roster flexibility regarding the three youngsters. Peraza, in particular, appeared headed into the 2024 season confined to a bench role backing up the club’s current infield mix of Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo. The additional option year will allow the club to get regular playing time in the minors for Peraza, who has excelled defensively but sports a slash line of just .216/.298/.306 in 70 career games at the major league level, as the 23-year-old looks to continue his development while blocked at the big league level.
Meanwhile, the option years afforded to Gil and Gomez will provide the Yankees with optionable depth in both the rotation and bullpen, a valuable resource the Yankees appeared to be running low on after sending a five-player package including 2023 depth starters Randy Vasquez and Jhony Brito to the Padres as the return for star outfielder Juan Soto. Gomez made his big league debut in 2023 with a single appearance where he struck out four while allowing a hit and hitting a batter across two scoreless innings. Gomez’s major league debut served as a capstone for a solid 2023 campaign where he pitched to a 3.58 ERA in 19 starts at the Double-A level. As for Gil, the righty last pitched a full season in 2021 but made six starts for the big league club that year, pitching to a 3.07 ERA with a 29.5% strikeout rate in 29 1/3 innings of work.