At home at fenway

Keeping an eye on Chaim, Raffy & a few good books

Chaim Bloom Takes Action: Trading a Solid Catcher for 2 Cheap Players

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 2, 2022

Christian Vazquez has been traded for Emmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.  In doing so, the Sox save money.  They avoid paying Vazquez more since he’s soon a free agent.  (See James McCann, 4 years, $40 million.) They also signal a no-confidence judgement on the 2022 Sox team.

Abreu is a 23-year-old outfielder presently batting .249 with a .399 OBP for Corpus Christi.  He has 15 to 20 HR potential in the bushes.

Valdez is a 23-year-old infielder/outfielder hitting .356 with a .463 OBP for Corpus Christi, but whose minor league career stats include a .259 BA and a .338 OBP overall.  He’s a 20+ HR potential guy in the minors.

Unless these two players quickly become a lot better and do so above Double-A, it looks like we gave up true value for two question marks.  Vazquez’s slash is .282, 8 HR and 42 RBI, nice production from a backstop who also is good at stopping bad pitches.

Solid defensive catchers with decent pop who play 130+ games per season are rare.

Vazquez had/has fewer errors in 2021 and 2022 than Sean Murphy, the A’s gold glove catcher.

The Red Sox defensively rank only above the White Sox in errors made. We are #14 in a 15 team field.

Christian is making $7 million this year. (Source: Spotrac.) His nominal replacement, Reese McGuire, is earning $468,000.  The former White Sox will share duties with Kevin Plawecki, who makes $2.25 million.

McGuire is batting .225 and seems quite defensively adroit.  He allowed just 10 passed balls in 182 career games so far.

Looks like the Sox will save $2.4 million dollars on catchers this year due to these moves.  They likely aren’t paying Valdez and Abreu much either.

So, what did Chaim Bloom accomplish?

He depressed many fans.  Me included.

He broke up the family.  Christian was on Greenville, Portland and Pawtucket with guys like Bogaerts and JBJ, plus a slew of players that have moved on.

I followed former UConn Coach Jim Calhoun at a recent (2019, maybe) Travelers PGA Celebrity event.  Every so often I would ask Calhoun a Red Sox question between shots, knowing he was a devoted Sox fan.  At one point on the back 9, I told him that Christian Vazquez was underrated.  He spun to look at me and with total sincerity said, “That is absolutely right.  He’s very underrated.  People don’t know how good he is.”

The praise stems from Vazquez’s defense, character, commitment, steady offense, and the occasional ability to hit in the clutch.  I feel it.  Jim Calhoun feels it.

Sorry to see him go.

As mentioned earlier, the trade of Vazquez signals a lack of faith by the GM in this team.

If that’s not the case, then why on Earth did they trade away a puzzle piece that any contender requires.

Congrats on making a big deal for us, Chaim.


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