6:30 p.m.: The prospects going to the Red Sox in the deal, by Boston Globe’s Alex Speierare Emmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.
Valdez, 23, is an infielder who is having a stellar underage season. Splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .327/.410/.606 on the year. Based on that broadcast, he jumped into Baseball America’s list of Astros’ top prospects in their midseason update, coming in at 12th place.
Abreu, 23, is an outfielder with a similar helium-backed trajectory. It hit 0.249/0.399/0.359 for the year, dropping to 21st in the Astros system in BA’s midseason update.
5:30 p.m.: Astros agree with Red Sox on deal that would send receiver Christian Vazquez to Houston for two minor league prospects, reports Fox 26’s Mark Berman. The deal is pending medical review. The identity of the prospects is still not known to the public.
Vazquez, 31, will join only the second organization of his career, as he has been with the Red Sox since being drafted by them in 2008. Since that time, he has reached the majors and established himself as a regular solid. Though never an All-Star, Vazquez has played 407 games for the Red Sox from 2019 to present, slashing .272/.321/.424 for a wRC+ of 97. If not for a dismal season last year, those numbers would be even better, as he posted a wRC+ of 102 or more in 2019, 2020 and here in 2022. This year he hits .282/.327/.432, 111 wRC+. Combined with his defensive contributions, he’s produced 6.4 wins above substitution over that four-year stretch, according to FanGraphs.
He and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year extension at the start of 2018, along with a club option for 2022. That option was eventually exercised by the club, with Vazquez now just months away. reaching free agency for the first time. . Boston looked like contenders for much of the season but had a dismal showing in July, going 8-19, falling to the AL East basement and 3 ½ games out of a spot in playoffs. Considering all of these factors, the Sox started getting offers and obviously found one to their liking.
For the Astros, they’ve been an obvious choice for an exciting addition for some time, with the two Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro sore this year. The Astros have been quite fond of Maldonado in terms of call-up and club presence, but he’s only hit 0.173/0.239/0.342 on the year for a wRC+ of 66. Castro was far worse, cutting . 115/.205/.179 for a wRC+ of just 15. He also landed in IL a month ago with a knee injury, only increasing the need for reinforcements behind the plate.
The Astros are clear buyers, sitting on a 67-36 record that gives them a 12-game lead over the Marines in the AL West. Vazquez is the second pickup of the day, as they also brought on board Trey Mancini earlier in the day, bolstering their roster for the final months of the season and the playoffs.
As for the Red Sox, they’re in a much more nebulous position, sitting outside the playoff picture but close enough that the season isn’t exactly pushing the daisies just yet. With their recent slide, questions have been raised about how they will approach the deadline, with many impending free agents who could possibly be moved if the Sox choose. Vazquez was one of those names, along with JD Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi amongst others. It looks like there won’t be an orderly response, with the club trying to distinguish between buying and selling. Shortly after Vazquez deal was announced, club reportedly also acquired impending free agent Tommy Pham of the Reds, but would also have exchanged Jake Diekman to the White Sox. With less than 24 hours until the deadline, there’s likely plenty more moves to come.