Right before Boston’s game against the Houston Astros, Red Sox head Chaim Bloom got some critical work done before tomorrow’s trade deadline, making three separate moves. First, he dealt catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston for outfield prospects Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu. Reliever Jake Diekman was then traded to the White Sox for catcher Reese McGuire, and the day was closed out by acquiring Tommy Pham from the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later.
The most important trade was dealing Vazquez, who was loved in the organization and has been with them since being drafted in 2008. Vazquez has hit well this year, with a 108 OPS+. The Astros are starving for any type of production from the catching position. Starter Martin Maldonado has a .581 OPS. The sad thing is that backups Jason Castro and Korey Lee have been even worse. Vazquez does leave a bit to be desired from the defensive side of the ball, which also factors in with the McGuire trade. He will soon be a free agent, and Boston gets two prospects who have crushed the ball at the upper levels of the minors.
Vazquez, 31, has hit eight home runs with a .282 average, a .327 OBP, and a .759 OPS in 318 Plate Appearances this year. In his MLB career, all in Boston, Vazquez has hit 54 home runs with a .262 average, a .311 OBP, and a .700 OPS in 2525 Plate Appearances.
Valdez, 23, has hit 21 home runs with five stolen bases, a .327 average, and a 1.016 OPS in 378 Plate Appearances between AA and AAA this season. In his minor league career, Valdez has hit 72 home runs with 38 stolen bases, a .259 average, and an OPS of .810 in 1857 Plate Appearances.
Abreu, 23, has hit 15 home runs with 23 stolen bases, a .399 OBP, and an OPS of .858 in 411 Plate Appearances for AA Corpus Christi this season. In his minor league career, Abreu has hit 33 home runs with 54 stolen bases, a .363 OBP, and a .782 OPS in 1255 Plate Appearances.
The immediate replacement for Vazquez will be McGuire, along with backup Kevin Plawecki. The Red Sox have prospects Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez in the wing, so McGuire is a stopgap. He is solid defensively with no offense whatsoever. The Red Sox also shed Diekman, a veteran reliever who racks up strikeouts, but also does not know where the ball is going. If he gets hot, he would provide some support for Chicago.
McGuire, 27, has no home runs with a .546 OPS in 166 Plate Appearances this season. In his MLB career for the White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, he has nine home runs with a .646 OPS in 566 Plate Appearances.
Diekman, 35, has a 4.23 ERA with 51 strikeouts, 30 walks, a 4.97 FIP, and a 1.487 WHIP in 38.1 innings for the Red Sox this season. In his MLB career for the Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies, Diekman has a 3.77 ERA with 632 strikeouts, a 3.58 FIP, and a 1.380 WHIP in 494.1 innings pitched.
The last trade helps the Red Sox down the stretch, and gives them security for a potential J.D. Martinez trade. Pham has struggled on a lowly Reds team, but still has a 10.9 BB%. He has some power with a bit of speed as well. He’s also an intense fantasy football player, it seems.
Pham, 34, has hit 11 home runs with seven stolen bases, a .320 OBP, and a .694 OPS in 387 Plate Appearances this season. In his MLB career for the Reds, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, and St. Louis Cardinals, Pham has hit 108 homers with 96 stolen bases, a .358 OBP, and a .796 OPS in 3185 Plate Appearances.