Boston Red Sox: Vazquez and Swihart draw interest from Diamondbacks

Both Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart will be competing for a starting job with Sandy Leon at the start of Spring Training.

The Boston Red Sox’ young catchers were potential trade targets of former GM Mike Hazen and the Arizona Diamondbacks reports Nick Piecoro.

With Boston’s depth at the position, it makes sense for teams in need of help behind the plate to inquire about prying one of Vazquez or Swihart loose from the Red Sox. Thankfully for Sox fans, sources close to Piecoro indicate that the team is unlikely to trade either player.

Renowned as one of the premier defensive catchers in baseball, Vazquez underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 – missing the entirety of the season and the majority of 2016. In just 110 career games, he’s thrown out an impressive 44% of runners, posted positive Stolen Base Runs saved above average (rSBR) in each of his two seasons and owns a career .992 fielding percentage.

In addition to Tommy John surgery, Vazquez’s anaemic offensive numbers have prevented him from attaining the starting job in Boston. Despite his position not requiring a high level of offense,  Vazquez’s career wRC+ of 61 and .075 Isolated Power average have not been enough to warrant sustained time as the Red Sox’ number 1 catcher.

Possessing a much higher touted bat, Blake Swihart has been held back from Boston’s starting gig behind the plate for the opposite reason. Over his career, Swihart has been worth -10 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) at catcher and has been charged with 16 passed balls in 83 career games, second among MLB catchers over the same time frame. The Red Sox hoped that his bat could play as a corner outfielder, giving Swihart 13 games in left field before he missed the remaining three months of the 2016 season with an ankle injury.

Both Vazquez (26) and Swihart (24), have age on their side as they look to round out their overall games in hopes of becoming Boston’s everyday backstop.

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