Red Sox must seek catcher upgrade elsewhere after Christian Vázquez signs 3-year contract with Twins
When the Boston Red Sox traded Christian Vázquez to the Houston Astros the day before the trade deadline this past summer, they were saying goodbye to the longest-tenured member of their organization.
Now, coming off his second World Series championship – a series in which he became the second catcher in MLB history to catch a World Series no-hitter – Vázquez is in agreement with the Minnesota Twins on a 3-year, $30M deal.
The Sox are seeking a catching upgrade, could’ve afforded a $10M AAV for each of the next three seasons, and were reportedly interested in a reunion with Vázquez. Still, it always felt unlikely that the two sides would actually come to terms. It was a fraught year for the club and their erstwhile catcher. Last season, it looked like the Sox intentionally prevented him from earning a $1M bonus; he needed 502 plate appearances and came just four short. Then, there were trade rumors last offseason; the Sox picked up his 2022 option, only to trade him the day before the deadline. That was mishandled, too; Vázquez was on the field in Houston, warming up with his teammates, when news broke that he’d actually be sitting in the home dugout that night. Visibly emotional, he was immediately surrounded by media members, unable to process the news in private.
Vázquez’s unceremonious departure upset his teammates, including Xander Bogaerts, who publicly questioned the organization’s commitment to winning. Bogaerts debuted a year earlier, but Vázquez was drafted the year before the Sox signed their future and now former shortstop as a 16-year-old. Baseball is a business, and each player has to do what’s best for them, but how the Sox handled each player over the past year is another key reason it felt unlikely the catcher would return.
So, who will be behind the dish for Boston next season? In one afternoon, Sean Murphy, William Contreras, and Vázquez all came off the board via trade or signing. Chaim Bloom has repeatedly stated his intention to upgrade, but options are limited. It could very well be a tandem of the club-controlled Reese McGuire and Connor Wong. At this point, no one would be surprised.