Going into Tuesdays trade deadline, the Boston Red Sox had to tackle one question – would the team be a buyer or a seller?
Two days later, the answer to that question is pretty tough to decide, as the moves made didn’t show a commitment in either direction, instead showing that this team still doesn’t know exactly what direction it is heading in.
That is not necessarily a bad thing. The Red Sox are now 53-54 with just under two months left in the regular season and, despite a last place standing in the AL East, are still within striking distance of a playoff berth at three games back. Replenishing the farm system while also picking up some supplemental pieces is a conservative and understandable approach given the current situation.
Listed below will be the trades the Red Sox made this deadline along with a grade and analysis of each trade.
Trade 1- Boston Red Sox trade Christian Vazquez to the Astros for prospects
This trade is disappointing but defensible for Sox nation. Christian Vazquez is a good defensive catcher who shows flashes of offensive excellence.
2022 has been a good year for Vazquez at the plate, as he hit .282 with eight home runs and 42 RBI’s in 84 games with the Boston Red Sox. These statistics, combined with the leadership ability Vazquez has shown over his career, are exactly what a contending team desires heading into the playoff run.
This move will help the Astros, a team on track to win the AL West, while the Red Sox add some solid prospects that improve the depth of the team. This likely move means the Red Sox had little confidence they could re-sign Vazquez, so picking up some organizational depth is justifiable.
Trade 2- Jake Diekman to the White Sox for Reese McGuire
This trade is necessary after the Vazquez departure but still feels puzzling when considering that the bullpen is a huge weak spot for the team. Jake Diekman was having a year that is below his career averages this season, but it cannot be taken lightly that he is an 11-year veteran and not the biggest issue with the unit. This trade would be fine if it included McGuire and a reliever, but otherwise it is a solving a created problem by further damaging a huge problem.
Trade 3- PTBNL and cash considerations to the Reds for Tommy Pham
This is a low-risk, high-reward pickup. Tommy Pham has shown talent throughout his career and is capable of giving this team a jolt. He is a competitor who will be pushing every player to be better and could be looked at as a guy to shake up the locker room culture.
At the very least, the team will be getting an average hitter and fielder with some power. This is an upgrade from what the team has recently in the outfield, and to grab a player like this for minimal return is a win.
Trade 4- Jay Groome to the Padres for Eric Hosmer, prospects and cash considerations.
This trade is a repercussion of the Juan Soto trade and the Red Sox took full advantage. Eric Hosmer is a slick fielding, solid contact first baseman who has been a star in the past.
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While he is considered to be a lesser player than in his prime, he is still hitting .272 and has a .993 fielding percentage, so those numbers will be a significant upgrade from what the team has had so far this season.
What is the best thing about this trade however is that the Padres are covering the majority of Hosmer’s remaining contract, so the Boston Red Sox will be getting an above average player for a bargain price. This was the best trade the team made at the deadline by far.
Final grades and thoughts
If you average those grades together, you would get a B+ for an overall grade.
However, the team did not address the need for pitching, so an F needs to be added there. It was a solid deadline, despite it being relatively directionless. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the season looks like, but the prospect pool is improved and the team could still contend for the playoffs.