In what has been an incredibly miserable season for the Red Sox and their fan base, one thing is very clear… they are going to be selling hard at the deadline. With the deadline just being a couple days away we have already seen the likes of Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman shoved out the door to Philadelphia by Chaim Bloom. Rumors continue to swirl on who’s next to get a first class ticket to a new city and, while nothing seems imminent, from the outside looking in, I can guarantee that things are heating up behind closed doors.
According to Jon Heyman, everyone is available except Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez. So, it is safe to assume that trade talks are being centered around Vazquez, Moreland, JBJ, Perez, and Pillar. While, none of these guys exactly fit the description of star players who are going to bring back a haul of prospects like those untouchable players would, they are considered nice pieces that can push a contending team over the top and bring back some decent pieces for a rebuilding club.
Vazquez is the guy that intrigues me the most, he’s an above average defensive catcher that hits very well for his position and this bodes well for Bloom and the Sox as the catcher market spans wide across the league this season. The rumors surrounding CV have stated that Bloom has spent the last few days working with the Tampa Bay Rays, to see if they can find a deal centered around some of the Rays pitching prospects.
As you know, Bloom came over from Tampa, where he was a magician when it came to finding elite pitching prospects that none of the other teams in the league seemed to know were elite. The best example of this comes in the form of Shane Baz, who was the third piece of the Chris Archer trade return, as a player to be named later. He came over relatively unknown and pretty much an afterthought in the trade, now he is the Rays fifth ranked prospect in their system (which is the number one farm system in the MLB).
I’ve got my sights set on Baz in any deal, his ceiling is certainly higher than any of the Red Sox pitching prospects as he routinely touches triple digits with his four seam and also possesses a nasty slide piece that sits in the mid to upper 80’s. His only fault is he comes with some control issues, which is not uncommon for young pitchers with this much power, but that really does not concern me. It is already being reported that he has improved his control some since being moved to Tampa in 2018.
The other prospect the Rays have that really gets me going, when mentioned, is Brent Honeywell. This guys stuff is the definition of filth, he throws a mid 90’s sinking fastball along with a true screwball, which is a extinct pitch in today’s game, and to top it all off he has a 2.0 BB/9. Now of course, if that was all there was to know about Honeywell he would certainly not be available for a guy like Vazquez, Honeywell’s risk unfortunately lies in his elbow, as he has already had two surgeries since being drafted, but if you ask me he is still very much worth the risk, because he’s got ace type stuff.
While talks surrounding Vazquez are on going between Tampa and Boston, there are obviously other suitors as well. It’s been reported that the Padres have been snooping around the catcher market as well, but no talks between them and Boston have been reported, but I would keep an eye on them because that could change in the blink of an eye and these two teams have a strong track record of completing deals.
Needless to say, it has become very apparent that Vazquez is considered a nice deadline piece that will be heavily sought after. Where he ends up? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this much, I trust Chaim Bloom with my life and you should to, because if there is one thing that man can do, it’s dominate the trade market.
Photo: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe