Red Sox Rumors: Mets showing interest in catcher Christian Vazquez
By Sean Penney
The Mets are interested in Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.
Christian Vazquez has emerged as one of the hottest commodities as the MLB trade deadline approaches. While the Boston Red Sox have shown no inclination that their catcher is on the trading block, the growing interest around the league has them listening to offers.
The latest potential suitor is the New York Mets, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Red Sox were doing background work on Mets minor league players, which he speculated could be connected to a potential Vazquez trade considering New York’s need at the catcher position.
The Mets don’t appear to be in win-now mode considering their record sits at a disappointing 15-19. However, that places them only 4.5 games out in a wide open NL East and within striking distance of a Wild Card spot.
Vazquez is locked in at a bargain rate of $6.25 million for next season with a $7 million club option for 2022, making him an appealing target even for teams that aren’t going for it all this year.
His solid production and appealing contract are also reasons why the Red Sox would want to hang on to him. Boston is in rebuilding mode at the moment but they could bounce back as early as next year with a healthier starting rotation.
That being said, the Red Sox still have holes to fill before they can return to contention. Vazquez’s value will never be higher than it is now coming off a breakout season and that value will only dwindle the longer they hold on to him. If they can get a strong return for the veteran catcher then it’s an option that Chaim Bloom needs to at least consider.
Pitching is the obvious need for this club but that’s where the Mets might not be an ideal fit. They have three prospects ranked in MLB’s top 100 but none of them are pitchers.
If the Red Sox covet pitching prospects, right-hander Matthew Allen is the top option the Mets can offer. The third-round pick in last year’s draft has a high ceiling as a potential frontline starter but the 19-year-old is a few years away from the big leagues. His upside might be too high for the Mets to part with and his time frame might be too far off to interest a Red Sox team that needs pitching sooner rather than later.
J.T. Ginn was a second-round pick this year and ranked No. 7 in the Mets system. He doesn’t have the upside of Allen and might be even further away from contributing to a major league team. Lefty Thomas Szapucki is probably closer to the big leagues but his career has been plagued by injuries and he might end up in the bullpen long term. That’s not enough value for a player of Vazquez’s caliber. Either pitcher could be part of a package but using them as the headliner would be underwhelming.
The focus doesn’t necessarily have to be on pitching. If the Red Sox trade Vazquez then the goal should be to maximize the value of the return regardless of position. Two of the top prospects in the Mets system are shortstops, a spot that Xander Bogaerts has locked down for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean the Red Sox wouldn’t have interest. Building up the farm system provides flexibility for the future and potential trade chips that can be flipped for a position of need down the line.
The rumor mill is heating up as the trade deadline approaches. While these rumors often don’t pan out, the interest surrounding Vazquez will be monitored over the next few hours.