Is Trading Christian Vazquez the Right Move?

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The Red Sox have put themselves in a position where they’re one of the worst teams in all of baseball.  With only a few days until the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, we can expect more players from the club will be traded off.  Last week the Red Sox sent closer Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies for young arms in Nick Pivetta and right-hander Connor Seabold.  Who will be next?

Photo courtesy of athletique.com

Reports are coming out that the Rays are interested in catcher Christian Vazquez and are willing to part with top pitching prospects to acquire him.  Chaim Bloom knows the Rays system all too well, and this could be a huge win for the club.  Trading Vazquez will come with fan outrage as he is a fan favorite.  Red Sox fans saw him develop as a prospect in the system and win a World Series.  Taking away the fan sentiment, trading Vazquez at the height of his value makes a ton of sense. 

The Rays have prospects to trade and Bloom could raid the cupboards of his old organization in order to replenish his minor league system.  According to the Athletic, the Rays and Red Sox have held “early discussions” on Vazquez.  The article from the Athletic would go on to say, the Red Sox are looking for young pitching in return. 

The Rays have young pitching, in fact according to Baseball America, they rank them with the best farm system in baseball.  Five of their top 10 prospects are pitchers, and since Bloom knows their system intimately, the Red Sox could bring back some talented young players. 

The pitching prospects that are featured in the the Rays top 10 are Shane Baz, Brent Honeywell, Shane McClanahan, Nick Bitsko and Joe Ryan.  Baz came over in the Chris Archer trade that was completely lopsided in the Rays favor.  He has electric stuff and is the complete definition of high risk and high reward as a prospect. 

Honeywell has had a few surgeries on his arm, including Tommy John.  While that has been the case, he still boast a bionic arm that the Rays love, and if he can be healthy he will be a key to any pitching staff.  The Red Sox should tread lightly around guys with arm issues as they rebuild their farm system and ultimately the pitching staff at the big league level.  If Honeywell is healthy, he would be a nice addition to this organization as they build for the future.  McClanahan is a 6-foot-1, 200 lb left-hander that throws gas.  He has a blazing four-seam fastball that he accompanies with a slider and a curveball when facing hitters.  The Rays say his breaking ball is big league ready, and throwing it with his fastball, he’ll be nasty in the bigs. 

The last two Rays pitchers are also studs in their system.  Bitsko was the team's top draft pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.  The 18-year-old dominated at the high school level in Pennsylvania which led to him being drafted 24th overall by Tampa Bay.  The Rays call him an elite power prospect, that has the size, skills and athleticism to give him a chance to compete through their system.  While he won’t be big league ready soon, he would be a prospect to look forward to leading a rotation for the Red Sox.  Lastly, Ryan has a blazing fastball and the Rays love the makeup of this kids stuff.  He was invited to the 60-man player pool before the restart of the season began and was used as a starter and reliever.  The Rays love what they call his “invisible” fastball and with their history of developing really good young starting pitching, the Red Sox could develop Ryan for the rotation or the back end of the bullpen. 

Ultimately the Red Sox would be better with Vazquez than trading him to Tampa Bay or any other team for that matter.  The team needs to overhaul their minor league system and develop young, controllable feature big leaguers so they can spend money elsewhere and in the right places.  While the fan favorite Vazquez comes at a price, his value may not be any higher than now because of his contract, and Bloom needs to strike while the iron is hot.


 
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Boston Sports Syndicate: Is Trading Christian Vazquez the Right Move?
Is Trading Christian Vazquez the Right Move?
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