The market for catcher Christian Vázquez is “heating up” and he’s making progress towards a deal, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive. Per Cotillo, it’s unclear if the Red Sox are still involved.
It appears that the dominos are falling in the catching market. The top free agent, Willson Contreras, was signed by the Cardinals a few days ago. Earlier today, the top trade option came off the board when Sean Murphy was traded to Atlanta. Now it seems that teams are quickly turning to Vázquez, generally considered the second-best free agent this offseason behind Contreras.
Now 32, Vázquez has been the primary backstop in Boston for most of the past few years, though he was traded to the Astros at the deadline in the most recent season. His bat has been up and down over his career but his work behind the plate has been praised fairly consistently. From 2014 to the present, he has posted 51 Defensive Runs Saved, which places him fifth among all backstops in the league. FanGraphs’ framing metric has given him a 60.5 in that same timeframe, good enough for sixth place.
While Vázquez is sure to provide solid work with the glove, his production with the bat is less certain. Over 2019 and 2020, he hit .278/.327/.472 for a wRC+ of 105. That seemed to be a nice breakout after a few years of more tepid work in the batter’s box. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to maintain it, dropping to a line of .265/.311/.374 over the past two years for a wRC+ of 87.
Regardless, he still was the second catcher on MLBTR’s list of the top 50 free agents for this offseason, getting predicted for a three-year deal worth $27MM. It was reported a few days ago that the Twins made him an offer, while he’s also been connected to the Diamondbacks, Guardians, Padres and Giants with plenty of other clubs surely interested as well. For any clubs that miss out on Vázquez, the remaining free agents would include Omar Narváez, Roberto Perez and Austin Hedges, while the trade market is now headlined by the Toronto of Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno.
Credit : Source link