Trade rumors surrounding the Red Sox are certain to heat up over the next week ahead of next Monday’s deadline, and the thought of being dealt is making one of the team’s longest tenured members sad.
Christian Vazquez, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2008 and ultimately became their everyday catcher, sees the talk out there and certainly knows the front office is active after they traded Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies last week. The 30-year-old Vazquez, who had a breakout offensive season in 2019 and is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the game, is under team control through 2022 and could garner interest from other clubs to the Red Sox, who seem eager to build for the future.
But Vazquez, who made his big-league debut with the Red Sox in 2014 and has only known one organization throughout his career, hopes that isn’t the case.
“I think we don’t control that,” Vazquez said. “We can control coming here and working hard every day. It’s going to be sad if I left Boston because all my career was here. I’ve been here, with one organization. My goal is to retire here. That’s my goal in my career, being part of one organization. Have one jersey on my chest for my career. But we don’t control that. We’re baseball players who come here every day to play and play hard and do our best to help the team win.”
Vazquez said there have been some conversations within the team about the trade deadline — and especially after last Friday night’s deal — but nothing too deep.
“We talk. We talk,” said Vazquez, who said he read a recent rumor about him. “Nothing specific, but normal talking, normal, like, I don’t know, nothing serious like, ‘You think I’m going to get traded?’ No. We don’t talk about that. I think if it happens, it happens. We turn the page, we continue working hard, but we don’t talk specific.”
It’s been an inconsistent year for Vazquez, who started the first week of the season hot at the plate but has cooled down since, with no homers and just four RBI in his last 21 games, as he’s seen his average drop from .421 to .258 going into Tuesday’s night game.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke acknowledged Vazquez hasn’t been as good as last season, when he posted career highs of 23 homers and 72 RBI, but noted how the shortened season magnifies his numbers.
“Last year he had a month where he didn’t hit the ball that well also,” Roenicke said. “Unfortunately, they don’t have the time to have the five other months behind this. So, hopefully we get him swinging better. He was hot for a while, but it just didn’t last. But he does have a good enough at-bat where he seems like he’s always getting a hit. He’s just not locked in like he was a year ago.”
Nathan Eovaldi was scratched from his start Wednesday night due to a cramp in his right calf he suffered this past Saturday, following his last start. The Red Sox’ No. 1 starter will now pitch Saturday at home against the Nationals, with Colten Brewer taking his spot Wednesday.
Eovaldi said he felt something minor while throwing long toss, before feeling it again on the mound, and the right-hander isn’t worried about it.
“We didn’t think it was any big deal and then the next day he still felt it some, so we decided to try to push (his start) back,” Roenicke said.
Roenicke said they have an idea who will start Thursday against the Blue Jays, but a final decision has not been made. Martin Perez would theoretically start Friday before Eovaldi’s return on Saturday.
For the first time in more than a century, the Red Sox were in Buffalo on Tuesday. Due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, the Blue Jays have relocated their home games this season to Sahlen Field, where the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons play.
It marked the Red Sox’ first game in Buffalo since July 6, 1917, when they won an exhibition game over the Bisons. Roenicke seemed to approve of the setup.
“We went out for early BP, the wind was blowing straight out, so the ball carries well,” the manager said. “Both alleys are a little bit short. The other dimensions seem to be fine. The field is in great shape. The grass looks beautiful. Dugouts are fine. Everything looks good. It’s really that wind blowing dead out to center, it plays a little bit short right now. We’ll see what happens during the game or the next couple days.” …
Roenicke said they’re still figuring out a plan for new pitcher Nick Pivetta, who reported to Pawtucket upon being traded last week, and should know in the next two days. He said he won’t start on Thursday.
Eduardo Rodriguez, out for the season due to complications with COVID-19, sent out a tweet Tuesday describing his feelings about missing baseball:
you know when you love doing something so much when you turn on the tv in the morning and the first channel that appears is @MLBNetwork #quickpitch and you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach ??♂️??♂️??♂️ man I really miss playing so bad ??♂️??♂️ ??
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