Boston, MA– During the off-season, the Boston Red Sox were reported to be in negotiations to trade away one of their catchers. With Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon, and Blake Swihart behind the plate, Boston's catcher corps each brought different skills to the team, but it appears that Boston's front office ultimately felt that only one was needed. The rumors were that Leon was the catcher on the market and that Boston was ready to go all-in on making Swihart the next star of the team, but after a rocky start to the season, opinions flipped in this regard.
After being demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, Leon left a gaping hole in Boston's pitching staff as each starter continued to turn in abysmal performances, leaving many, including myself, to speculate that it might be because they just feel more comfortable pitching to Leon than to Swihart. Once a rapport develops, it's hard to accept any substitute. So after a last place start to the season, Leon was promoted back to the big leagues and Swihart was designated for assignment.
Now, the Swihart experiment in Boston is officially over. The Red Sox have traded Swihart to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson. Wilson has never risen past Double-A for Arizona and recorded just two hits in nine games during spring training.
As for Swihart, Arizona anticipates using him in the capacity of a utility player who can bounce around to whichever position needs him from game to game. Boston could have used a player like this very recently considering that their injured list is currently filled with utility players like Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt, as well as recently injured players Dustin Pedroia and Nathan Eovaldi. Regardless, Swihart has moved on now to Arizona. Boston paid tribute to the World Series champion in an Instagram post yesterday.
In other news, on Friday, Boston mounted a comeback against the Tampa Bay Rays to prevail by a score of 6-4, thanks to home runs from Vazquez, Mookie Betts, and Mitch Moreland. Let's hope they can keep that ball rolling.
Image via Flickr / Keith Allison