Red Sox receiving trade interest in Blake Swihart
The Boston Red Sox have a logjam of infielders on their roster. They are starting to receive some trade interest in one of them.
The Boston Red Sox must make a decision on what to do with Blake Swihart. Play him, sit him and stunt his growth, or trade him — there are no more Minor League options. The Swihart conflict is one of many tough decisions manager Alex Cora must make this year for the Red Sox.
That decision may have just gotten a lot easier for Cora and company.
According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal, Swihart’s hot spring training have sparked trade interest from other teams around the league. Swihart, 25, is healthy for the first time in two years and his bat is the hottest on the team in the Grapefruit League.
This report should come across as relatively unsurprising. The Red Sox have a plethora of infielders that all are fighting for limited roster spots and it’s inevitable a few will get left out. It’s asinine to carry three catchers on the active roster, and even with Swihart’s hot spring, he’s still the odd man out. Christian Vazquez had a career year last season, and Sandy Leon is kept as the team’s veteran presence, leaving Swihart with the most to prove.
Even if Swihart tears up the Grapefruit League, teams will still have the opportunity to buy low on him. He’s yet to play a full Major League season, and hasn’t shown he can hit for a full one either. It’s also important to note that Swihart has been facing pitchers who may not make a Major League roster.
Who are the pitchers he’s smashed the ball all over the yard against? Dietrich Enns, Gabriel Ynoa, Jose Mesa, Johnny Hellweg, Charlie Morton and Chih-Wei Hu. While these pitchers have surrendered his seven extra-base hits to Swihart, it’s not against highly respectable competition.
Despite the interest from clubs, McAdam notes the Red Sox aren’t interested in parting ways with Swihart at this time. Things could change if Boston were to receive an elite prospect in return to help boost he depleted farm, but that remains unlikely.
The crazy thing about all of this? Swihart is two years removed from being arguably the best catching prospect in baseball. Many teams in baseball would love to have a young catcher who they can pencil in everyday; the Red Sox have two in Vazquez and Swihart. It’s normally a good problem to have, but time is running out on the resolution to the conflict.
Swihart has mashed all spring which is great for both him and the Red Sox. Even if it is against inferior pitching, it still boots his stock up. If it was easy, everyone who has Major League experience would be batting .500 in the Grapefruit League.
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Speculatively, who are some teams that could be interested? The Marlins, Orioles, Brewers, Pirates and Diamondbacks. Each team would have to make room for Swihart, who would easily be an upgrade over each teams’ current option, with the exception of the Marlins, who plan on trading J.T. Realmuto anyway.