Could the Red Sox move Michael Chavis this summer?
Last year, Red Sox CBO Chaim Bloom showed just how good he can be when he made several moves as the trade deadline approached. He may not have brought in flashy big names but what he did do was move expiring deals for pieces that could benefit Boston down the road. I imagine this year will look much the same as the team has several players that have their time with the organization running out.
I recently ran a poll on the BSI Twitter page asking fans who they think the Red Sox will move as the clock strikes midnight on the deadline. For the poll, I did a mix of position players as well as pitchers all of whom have an upside for a team that may be in the hunt come the back half of 2021. When all was said and done, Michael Chavis was the one that fans pointed at as the player that will most likely be finishing 2021 in a different uniform.
Michael Chavis had the trade rumors around his name at the deadline in 2020 with more whispers coming over the offseason. The utilityman has plenty of power in his bat but has a penchant for whiffing at the high heat. He burst onto the scene in April of 2019 and quickly got white-hot, then the opposition figured out his weakness. Since then he’s been a Jekyll & Hyde hitter with some injuries sprinkled on top.
But his ability to hit a baseball out of this galaxy while being able to move around the diamond makes him a desirable target. The Ice Horse is only 25-years-old and won’t be a free-agent until 2026. Though he’ll be entering arbitration next winter, having that much control on a player still in his prime is big for a contender. The upside to Chavis is far greater than the negatives as he can still make the adjustments to get back on track.
I’ve been a big fan of Chavis since his promotion to the big leagues and had heard plenty about his time in the minors from BSI’s own Hunter Knoll. So far he’s lived up to the billing of being a powerhouse hitter that can be duped at the plate. However, if he can get with the right coach, and I think this is where Alex Cora will step in, he can once again be a dangerous player in this Red Sox lineup. He had a great showing under Cora in his debut campaign and regressed with the dynamic manager out of the picture.
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Another thing that I think will help Chavis going forward is having a set position in the squad. He was predominately a corner infielder splitting time between first and third but got his Major League shine at second base. He would become one of many that would try and fill Dustin Pedroia’s shoes but then Boston began to move him around the diamond. In 2019, he would clock time at first, second, and third. This past season he would also add left field to his resume of positions played.
We saw in the past how taking someone who was really good at one position and turning them into a utility player actually hurt their career. Blake Swihart was on track to be Boston’s catcher of the future until the Red Sox started shifting him all over the field and in turn, his play weakened everywhere. I can see the same thing happening with Chavis as he’s already been plucked from his most natural positions and even from his secondary spot.
For all we know, he could have a great start to the season and really embrace his role as a utility player on this team. If I had to put my money on it, I’d agree with the voters in that Chavis will likely be somewhere else for the remaining part of the campaign as Chaim could most likely get the most return for him. It’s all going to depend on how Chavis plays to open the year and what position the Red Sox find themselves in with the standings. He could fetch a king’s ransom or peanuts. Then again, we saw what Bloom was able to do with Andrew Benintendi, so the sky’s the limit.