Red Sox: Could Blake Swihart be dealt at the trade deadline?

Apr 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) reaches for a pop foul against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) reaches for a pop foul against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

When the trade deadline comes around, could former Red Sox Opening Day catcher Blake Swihart be traded after the emergence of Christian Vazquez?

A few weeks ago, when the Boston Red Sox began the 2016 season, Blake Swihart was the guy chosen by manager John Farrell to start behind the dish. But after multiple passed balls by Swihart throughout the first few games, the highly praised catcher was demoted to AAA and replaced by Christian Vazquez.

As of right now, Farrell is looking like a genius by making this decision. So far with Vazquez behind the plate, the pitching has shown great success. If this were to continue, and catcher Ryan Hanigan continues to fill his role perfectly as the back-up, could Swihart find a new home come July?

During Spring Training, this was the big question Red Sox fans wanted to know. Who was going to be the Opening Day catcher? Swihart or Vazquez? As we all know, Vazquez missed all of 2015 after getting Tommy John surgery. Also, it seemed like fans were favoriting Swihart to be the Opening Day catcher due to the fact that he can contribute much more than Vazquez can offensively.

This is where I disagree with those fans.

Although the Red Sox didn’t have the best season in 2015, they still had one of the best offenses in the league. The big issue was their pitching. So would it make more sense to start a guy who is better defensively than offensively?

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I personally think that we should leave the offensive production to players like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and David Ortiz. With pitching being our Achilles heel, let’s have a catcher like Vazquez take care of the rotation, since he is a defensive wizard with a cannon of an arm, even after surgery, and can block anything in the dirt.

When you compare Vazquez and Swihart, some say that they are exact opposites. Vazquez seems to have a passion for his defensive production, whereas Swihart seems to still be learning how to play the position.

Before Swihart was drafted by the Sox in 2011, he played shortstop, first base, and left field throughout his high school and collegiate career. His offensive production has always made him stand out from the rest, but in the end, if you want to be a successful catcher in the Major Leagues, you should worry about defense before you offense.

So let’s fast forward to late July when the trade deadline is approaching. If the Red Sox are in contention to make a playoff push and Vazquez and Hanigan are continuing to make the rotation better, I strongly believe that the Sox should try to make a deal, trading Blake Swihart.

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I understand that when Swihart is in AAA, he will be trying out the outfield again. But where will we put him on the Major League roster? We already have Betts, Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley Jr. and newly signed free agent Chris Young as our outfielders. So where now? Shortstop or first base since he has had experience there? I think I’d rather have Bogaerts and Ramirez handling those positions, and I hope Red Sox Nation can agree with me there.

If Swihart were to be traded, I strongly believe that we can get a solid player if we were to include a prospect or two with him in a deal. If someone goes down in the rotation, we could acquire a solid starter or maybe just a shut down reliever that would just make our rotation even more dangerous.

Like I said before, with Vazquez behind the plate, we are seeing our pitching rotation stay much later into games and give us quality starts. Just look at Rick Porcello. We haven’t seen him pitch like he has this season since his days in Detroit. Vazquez makes pitchers confidence increase dramatically, which is crucial going down the road.

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With the Red Sox finishing in the basement of the A.L. East for the past two seasons, they’re in a “win now” mentality. With that being said, if they needed someone to really complete their roster for the second half of the season, Blake Swihart may be the key player in a deal to get that certain player.