How close is Chaim Bloom to dealing Christian Vazquez to his former employer?
A report surfaced Friday that the Red Sox are in "early" trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays regarding Vazquez.
So, why would the Sox want to deal their starting catcher, who recently made it clear he wants to remain in Boston ahead of Monday's Major League Baseball trade deadline?
Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal provided more insight Saturday into where the Sox stand on Vazquez:
"The Sox are not eager to move Vazquez but do not regard him as untouchable, either. Rather, they see this as an opportunity to capitalize on Vazquez's value and the fact that he's under control through 2022 at relatively modest cost ($6.25 million in 2021, with a $7 million team option for 2022)."
Bloom and the Red Sox are obvious sellers amid an abysmal 2020 season. If they're looking to rebuild by acquiring prospects, the time to deal Vazquez is now: He's on a team-friendly contract and is one year removed from his best offensive year as a pro, in which he batted .276 with 23 home runs and 72 RBIs.
The Rays also have a deep pool of farm talent thanks in part to Bloom, who was Tampa Bay's Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations before coming to Boston.
If the Red Sox can net a quality pitching prospect in return for Vazquez, they'd likely take Tampa Bay up on the offer. If the price isn't right, though, it sounds like Bloom would be willing to hold onto his 30-year-old catcher.