There is a chance that the Boston Red Sox make catcher Christian Vazquez available ahead of the trade deadline, and the Astros are a good fit.
The Houston Astros are a very good team, and they could become even better with some help at the catcher position. While appearing on Fox Sports’ Flippin’ Bats podcast, Ken Rosenthal said that the Astros could pursue Boston’s Christian Vazquez in order to bolster themselves at catcher ahead of the trade deadline.
The Red Sox are shockingly in last place in the AL East despite having a .500 record, and the team is 3.5 games back of the final wild card spot. They probably won’t sell their stars in Xander Bogaerts and the injured Rafael Devers, but veteran DH and former Astro J.D. Martinez is not untouchable. If they continue to slide, Vazquez would be one of their most attractive trade targets from Houston’s perspective, who is still not keen on replacing Martin Maldonado, but has been in the market for an offensive catcher who won’t play full-time.
There’s certainly merit to the idea. Vazquez is in the final year of a backloaded contract that is paying him $7M this season, so he would be a pure rental. In 79 games this season, he owns a slash line of .277/.323/.431, which adds up to an OPS+ of 106. This is particularly encouraging, given that Vazquez appeared to be on the decline after last season, in which he posted a 75 OPS+ in 138 games. He will turn 32 in August and has been a member of the Red Sox for his whole career. He was their starting catcher each time they met up with the Astros in the postseason in 2017, 2018, and 2021.
Vazquez is not a star, but he’s more than serviceable, and battle-tested in the postseason. In one of the most iconic moments of the 2021 season, he sent a walk-off home run over the green monster to give the Red Sox the lead in the ALDS. His above-average bat would pair well with Maldonado’s intangibles behind the plate, and provide yet another veteran leader for the young players to look up to in the clubhouse. He’s not someone that was expected to be available even at the all-star break, but he’s another player to keep tabs on and could be very beneficial to the team both on and off the field, if he is acquired.