2022 MLB trade deadline: What trades did the Boston Red Sox make?
With the Boston Red Sox selling, buying, and keeping players in the mad rush at deadline day, we try and put a grade on their performance
Coming into the trade melée, the Boston Red Sox were looked at as organ donors for the rest of the league. Expected to unload some of their big-ticket players, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom soon nixed any possibility of dealing Rafael Devers or Xander Bogaerts away, leaving speculation that they could still make cap space and roster room by taking advantage of the interest shown around the league in Nate Eovaldi and JD Martinez. In the end, all hands were kept on deck.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was positively effusive about the change in outlook that keeping Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez on the team brought to the Sox. “For how down we were yesterday, there’s a lot of excitement in the clubhouse to keep these guys.”
Not everyone escaped the trade, with catcher Christian Vazquez being sent to the Astros as he warmed up for the game in Houston on Monday night. In a bizarre pre-game scene, he simply walked across the field from one dugout to the other.
This trade, though, said more about Houston’s desperate need for a catcher than it did in making any sort of statement about the Red Sox and their state of mind regarding selling off players. In the end, the Astros simply made a good offer and the Sox took it.
Vázquez brings great hitting to the Astros, slashing .282/.327/.432 in 84 games, and leading the bigs in innings behind the plate over the past two seasons. Against high velocity pitching, he is an even better hitter, going .314 on anything over 95mph. Come October, that will be a high-value asset for Houston.
The Red Sox then raised some eyebrows by picking up left fielder Tommy Pham from Cincinnati for a player yet to be named. The 34-year-old Pham may be on the down slope of his playing days, a shadow of his former self, but he can still bring solid, if not actually spectacular, offensive production to the table, slashing .238/.320/.374 with 11 homers. Boston will need to squeeze every last drop of it out of him if they are to make any kind of run at all on a wild card spot.
Chaim Bloom sees it all as a calculated risk, but one worth taking, saying, “When we have a shot, even when it’s not the shot we anticipated in April, we should take it.’’
The biggest acquisition for Boston came as a result of a blip in the blockbuster Juan Soto deal that San Diego had cooked up with Washington. The Nationals definitely worked the deal to their favor, getting outstanding return on their big asset, including first baseman Eric Hosmer. Problem was, Hosmer had a no-trade clause in his contract against Washington, and for a few brief minutes, the entire deal seemed to wobble.
There was even a rumor that Luke Voit would be substituted for Hosmer in the deal, but at the last moment, Boston stepped in and traded for Hosmer, creating the roster space needed to get the workarounds in place for the Padres.
Hosmer was a 2016 All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner, and his .272 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs will fill a spot that has not gelled for the Red Sox so far this season. His bat is better than either Dalbec or Cordero, but it is for his defensive skills that Boston will lean on Hosmer. So far this season, the Red Sox have given up 10 errors at first base, the most in the MLB.
“We have struggled to find stability at first base this year,” says Bloom. “We think Eric will provide that.’’
So desperate were San Diego for the Soto deal to go through that they agreed to eat all of the $44 million remaining on Hosmer’s contract, leaving Boston coming out of this one smelling of roses.
From the least appealing start to the week, the Red Sox have come out of this with a positive result, keeping their talent in place, losing a big part of their offense, but then picking up two strong bats, all while filling that hot corner at first with as solid a glove as there is. It is not quite A-grade trade deadline dealing, but it is pretty close to it. Only because of the difficult road that they still have to travel to make it pay, this trade grading is a B+, although, if they do end up making the playoffs, there could be some extra credit given.