Is there a chance Houston brings back Christian Vázquez in an increased role?
According to the latest report from Ken Rosenthal, a rather robust market is taking shape for Astros' deadline acquisition Christian Vázquez. The Twins, Padres, Cubs and our own Houston Astros all appear to be in on the veteran backstop.
After missing out on Willson Contreras, might Houston be more heavily pursuing a reunion with Vazquez? His own activity on Twitter may suggest just that.
In 35 games in Houston, Vázquez hit .250 with only a .585 OPS in a primarily substitute role. In his 30 games behind the plate, he was good for two defensive runs saved. Most notably, he was behind the dish for the combined no-hitter in Game Four of the World Series.
He recorded two big hits in the Astros playoff push, busting Game Three of the ALCS open with a two-RBI single and picking up an insurance RBI in Game Six of the World Series, where he of course earned the start at DH.
The case to bring back Vázquez is intriguing. Before the trade deadline, Vazquez, the primary catcher in Boston, was putting together one of his finer seasons at the plate. He arrived in Houston with a .282 batting average and .759 OPS. His numbers did regress in a backup role as previously mentioned, but he maintained top-notch bat-to-ball skills.
Vázquez is only 32 and would not come at the expense of prospects needed to land Sean Murphy. Beloved backstop Martín Maldonado turns 37 next season. As valuable as his prep work, game calling and electric right arm may be, are his days as a primary catcher dwindling? Can we see a world where they split a 50/50 time share this season with Vázquez set to take over as the everyday catcher in 2024? Do more consistent reps behind the plate limit rust and enable Vázquez to maintain the offensive form he possessed in Boston?
What do you say Astros fans? Should Houston part with the bevy of prospects it will take to land a Sean Murphy? Is Vázquez the best option available with Contreras off the market? Or should Hosuton stay in-house for their backup? Sound off in the comments.