Breaking: Red Sox sign Christian Vazquez to extension

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez /

It’s clear the Red Sox are committed to their young catcher for the future.

The Boston Red Sox have agreed to an extension with catcher Christian Vazquez, per Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. Vazquez, 27, was extended to 2021, with a club option for 2022.

The contract terms are very team-friendly for the Red Sox, who now have their starting catcher locked for at least three years. An interesting clause in his contract states that if Vazquez reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and ’21, his salary will raise to eight million for 2022.

As Mastrodonato notes, not only is Vazquez being compared to Yadier Molina in terms of talent, but now he is being paid like it.

CV = Christian Vazquez and YM = Yadier Molina.

Vazquez is coming off career highs at the plate last season. He hit .290/.330/.404 with five home runs, 18 doubles and 32 runs batted in. Many have argued that Vazquez is poised for another step forward this year too.

Vazquez has started 2018 with a bang. In 11 Grapefruit League games, he has a .323 average with  two HR, three doubles and four RBI. Not too shabby for a catcher primarily known for defense. Spring training numbers don’t always lead to regular season success, but Vazquez has shown a noticeably better approach to the plate.

He’s not missing pitches like he did in the past, he’s making contact more often and he’s only struck out once all spring. All encouraging signs for a young catcher who can become one of the best in the game if his offense can compliment his elite defense.

While extending a young defensive catcher is easier than extending a multi-tool outfielder or shortstop, one must wonder when contract extensions are coming for Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.

Betts has yet to be impressed with any extension offer from the Red Sox, and has declined all of them. It’s not time to panic about Betts’ disinterest in extending his time here in Boston, but signs have been discouraging thus far.

Bogaerts has had roller coaster seasons, failing to put together a strong campaign for an entire season’s worth. If he puts together a strong season, will he be the next player for the Red Sox to be extended?

The point is, when general manager Dave Dombrowski sees an opportunity to strike a deal, he bites harder than a venomous snake. He saw the window of opportunity for Vazquez, and struck a terrific deal for both sides.

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But in doing so, we can’t help but wonder: If the Red Sox were able to easily dish out money for Vazquez, shouldn’t they be willing to give Betts whatever he wants?