May 28, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) singles in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Boston won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The verdict: DFA Leon, roll with Swihart and Hanigan.
The Red Sox haven’t been a good team this season and they are still in last place, but one can’t look around the fact that Boston is still just six games out of first place. That is a gap that the Red Sox could easily close with an extended hot streak and, with the team playing well right now, it makes sense to roll with their best catching duo.
For the sake of his development, Swihart should still serve as Boston’s starting catcher (even though Hanigan might well be the better player at this point in their respective careers). However, rather than the roughly 80-20 playing time split between Swihart and Leon, that timeshare could level out closer to 70-30 or even 60-40 with Hanigan as a backup.
If either Swihart or Hanigan goes down with another injury, the Red Sox would be forced to make a rushed acquisition much as they did with Leon back in March (assuming Leon is snatched up by another team). However, it’s not crazy to think that the Red Sox could acquire a catcher of similar quality to Leon through this method, so there might be nothing to worry about in that regard.
With the trade deadline less than a month away, the Red Sox need to make a run soon to determine whether they’ll be buyers. Part of the equation is the catching situation and the Red Sox need to go with their best two players at the position to give the team the best chance of winning. That means cutting ties with Leon and rolling with Swihart and Hanigan in a 60-40 split for the rest of the season.
How do you think the Red Sox should handle their current catching situation? Do you agree with me? Let us know in this poll and the comment section.