Boston Red Sox: Top 10 trade value player rankings
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2019, Free Agency 2022
You get the feeling that Swihart should be higher on this list. After all, the Red Sox once scoffed at parting with the top catching prospect in a deal that could have landed them Cole Hamels a couple of years ago. Since then Swihart has lost some of the luster to his value, coming off of an ankle injury that ended a season in which the organization openly questioned his ability to remain at the catcher position.
Swihart certainly has more value as a catcher, which is why he’s playing the position in winter ball and the Red Sox intend to enter camp at least pretending that Swihart is competing for the backup catcher spot.
If he develops into even a passable defensive backstop, the switch-hitter has the potential at the plate to make him an All-Star caliber catcher. His offensive production looks less impressive compared to his peers at other positions, but Swihart is going to hit no matter where he plays.
It’s unclear what Swihart’s role is with the Red Sox entering 2017. He could move back to catcher if Sandy Leon or Christian Vazquez were to falter or be sidelined by injury. He’s proven capable of handling left field, but would only be a backup option there. Perhaps he can DH if the Red Sox don’t splurge on a flashy free agent signing.
Unless a path is cleared for Swihart to receive regular playing time, he may have more value to another team then he’ll have here, making him a prime trade candidate.