The Boston Red Sox made a flurry of deals Monday evening, reportedly dealing away starting catcher Christian Vazquez while adding catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Tommy Pham in an effort to keep pace in the American League wild-card race.
The Red Sox dealt Vazquez to the Houston Astros, with reports of the move arising less than two hours before the teams were scheduled to open a three-game series against each other in Houston.
Vazquez, 31, took batting practice with Boston before learning of the trade. Reporters circled around him in foul territory, where he said “It’s a business” before a Red Sox employee ushered him away.
It was not yet reported what Houston would be sending Boston to land Vazquez, who spent all eight seasons of his major league career with the Red Sox. He was one of the few players remaining from Boston’s 2014 World Series roster.
Vazquez is batting .282 this season with eight home runs and 42 RBIs across 84 games.
It was the Astros’ second big acquisition of the afternoon, coming hours after they landed first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles.
The Red Sox filled the hole at catcher by acquiring McGuire from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for left-handed relief pitcher Jake Diekman.
McGuire, 27, was in his first season in Chicago after starting his MLB career with the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons. McGuire was batting .225 with nine doubles and 10 RBIs across 53 games for the White Sox. He’s a lifetime .241 hitter with nine home runs, 34 doubles and 36 RBIs.
Diekman, 35, was in his first season with the Red Sox after a lengthy career with five previous clubs. In 44 appearances out of the bullpen this year, Diekman was 5-1 with one save, a 4.23 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings.
Multiple reports also said the Red Sox landed Pham from the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. The New York Mets were said to be the other team in contention for the 34-year-old Pham.
Pham spent five-plus years with the St. Louis Cardinals, parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and two with the San Diego Padres before joining the Reds. He is batting .238 this season with 11 home runs, 11 doubles, 39 RBIs and 42 walks across 91 games.
The Red Sox entered Monday’s play 51-52, in last place in the AL East but not completely out of the wild-card race.
–Field Level Media