DH option for the Red Sox No. 3-4) Two from Houston
I didn't see this coming, and when the final history is written on Chaim Bloom's Boston days, the highlight could be trading Christian Vázquez to Houston for Wilyer Abreu and Emmanuel Valdéz. Houston owes us after the Jeff Bagwell deal.
First up is lefty hitting Abreu, who is built like a steamer trunk. Abreu slugged at Worcester with 22 home runs and 65 RBI in 86 games. With Boston, he upped it to a slash of .316/.388/.474 with a pair of home runs and 14 RBI. The negative is small, with Abreu hitting just .200 in 10 ABs against lefties. Abreu also whiffed at 27.1 K% but offset that with a 10.8 BB%.
Defensively, Abreu played all three outfield positions but, in 168.2 innings, posted a -12.4 UZR/150. That is the type of number that would have a nod toward DH.
Valdéz, like Abreu, has some defensive limitations at second base with -6 DRS and another negative with a -7.4 UZR/150. With a sour infield defense in 2023, having Valdéz at second could be a liability. Then comes the bat.
Physically, Valdéz is similar to Dustin Pedroia, only with about 15 pounds more muscle, and speaking of pounding, it is the lefties hitting. Valdéz slashed .266/.311/.453 with six home runs and 19 RBI. The kid also can motor a bit, with five steals in six attempts. The downside is a 24.8 K% and a 5.4 BB%.
Both the lefties bring defensive liabilities, plate awareness issues, and the specter of just a small sample to the table. If both maintain their hitting upside, a solid bat off the bench and the potential of regular status await.