Breaking Down The First 3 Red Sox Trades Before The Deadline

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Written by Jeremy Trottier: Check him out on Twitter here!

Hot Stove Is Heating Up!

This afternoon we got to see the Boston Red Sox make 3 moves to, for lack of a better word, change their team.  All 3 moves were relatively minor in the grand scheme of things; however, each brings its own positives for the Sox. 

In this article, I will be breaking down all three trades that were made today, as well as predicting their new lineup based on them.  So without further ado, let us begin with the first trade made:

Christian Vasquez to the Astros for prospects

The first trade Boston made was trading away their veteran catcher Christian Vasquez to the Houston Astros.  In return, they will receive minor league prospects Enmanuel Valdez (2B, 3B, LF) and Wilyer Abreu (CF, RF, LF).  This trade hurts, as it is another crucial piece of the Sox 2018 World Series run moving on to another team. 

However, in the grand scheme of things, Boston seemingly is looking towards next year, as they are attempting to shed some of the older players.  Christian only has this season left on his contract, so they traded 3 months of a 31-year-old catcher to Houston for two prospects.  Regardless, the trade is a tough one.

In terms of Valdez and Abreu, both are relatively good prospects, but more so Valdez.  Enmanuel has raised up to the number 12 prospect in the Astros farm system and has had an absolutely phenomenal season in the minors.  Between AA and AAA, he has hit a .327/.410/.606 split with 21 home runs, including a .357 batting average in AA.  He also has 77 RBIs, 5 stolen bases, 45 walks, and 66 runs on the season, all of which are exceptionally high level for a prospect. 

According to scouting reports, he has developed a good all-around hitting game, rather than just pure power, which was his previous strength. He has developed exceptional bat velocity over time.  He can be expected to be called up late this season or early next season. 

On the other hand, Abreu has been solid but not exceptional so far in his first AA season.  He is hitting .249/.399/.459 splits with 15 home runs.  In addition, he has 54 RBIs, a whopping 23 stolen bases, 38 walks, and 81 runs. 

His scouting reports state that he has found his middle ground between contact and power and has exceptionally high plate discipline, leading to his high walk totals.  He can be expected to be called up in mid to late 2023.

Red Sox Bring In OF Tommy Pham

The second trade of the day for Boston was with the Cincinnati Reds, bringing in outfielder Tommy Pham.  Most well known recently for slapping Joc Pederson over fantasy football, Pham is a quality addition to make the outfield defense more consistent at the bare minimum. 

While not an exceptional offensive player, hitting .238/.320/.694 splits, he has been a good player with the glove, having a .975 fielding percentage through 716 innings played in the outfield and a total of 4 errors committed through this time. 

He brings a minimal amount of versatility as a primary left fielder with some previous experience at center field and DH.  If the Red Sox were to trade J.D. Martinez (not yet confirmed as of the writing of this article), DH could be an option, while not optimal considering his hitting is down this year. 

On the year, he has 39 RBIs, 11 home runs, 42 walks, and 7 stolen bases.  In return, the Red Sox will send back a player to be named at a later date, likely a very raw prospect.

Boston Brings In a Potential Replacement at Catcher In Reese McGuire

The Sox’s final trade of the day (at least prior to their Monday night game) was trading with the Chicago White Sox to bring in catcher Reese McGuire.  To get this out of the way quickly, yes, Reese was previously arrested for something not so optimal.  However, that is in the past now, and we can take a look at the player. 

In terms of offensive production, there is minimal to talk about; he is hitting .225/.261/.546 splits, 6 walks, 12 runs, 10 RBIs on the season, and no home runs.  Defensively he is solid, not flawless, not bad, but somewhere in the middle. 

On the season, he has caught 11 runners stealing (31% caught stealing rate) and has lost only 2 pitches on 18 wild pitches so far this season.  He also has a .995 fielding rate with 2 errors on the season, which, all things considered, is solid for a catcher. 

The Sox in return will send pitcher Jake Diekman, who has been below average this season, to put things lightly.  The Red Sox will also acquire a player to be named later or cash considerations as part of this deal. 

So not only did the Red Sox shed the 8 million dollars of Diekman’s contract, but they also got a decent enough catcher in return and potentially a prospect or more cash. 

As pointless as this may seem, it frees up more money to utilize on extensions, such as with Rafael Devers or Xander Bogaerts. 

Potential Lineups With New Players

Now, let’s move on to what the Sox lineup looks like with these new players.  I will put together a lineup as of right now and the optimal lineup when all players return from injury.

Current: Catcher – Kevin Plawecki/Reese McGuire, 1B – Franchy Cordero/Bobby Dalbec, 2B – Yolmer Sanchez, 3B – Christian Arroyo, SS – Xander Bogaerts, LF – Alex Verdugo/Tommy Pham, CF – Jarren Duran, RF – Jackie Bradley JR, DH – J.D. Martinez

Fully healthy: Catcher – Kevin Plawecki/Reese McGuire, 1B – Franchy Cordero/Bobby Dalbec, 2B – Trevor Story, 3B – Rafael Devers, SS – Xander Bogaerts, LF – Alex Verdugo, CF – Kike Hernandez, RF – Jackie Bradley JR, DH – J.D. Martinez

We will see how things play out, as Tommy Pham could take over for Jackie Bradley if he continues to struggle heavily on offense.  It all comes down to what moves the Sox continue to make before the deadline and where they can improve on the roster. 

Article Written by Jeremy Trottier

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