Blake Swihart

Diamondbacks designate former Red Sox C Blake Swihart for assignment

Diamondbacks designate former Red Sox C Blake Swihart for assignment

Former Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart could be headed for his third team this summer. 

In April, the Sox designated Swihart, whom they drafted in 2015, for assignment after more than four years with the organization. Soon after, the Arizona Diamondbacks picked him up, sending outfield prospect Marcus Wilson back to Boston. 

Swihart failed to live up to expectations in Boston, and similarly struggled in Arizona. In 31 games with the D-Backs, Swihart hit .136 with three home runs and nine RBI. 

On Monday, Arizona designated Swihart for assignment. Now, they have seven days to either trade him to another team or place him on outright waivers. It's possible that Swihart clears waivers, but since he's been in the league for more than three years, he has the right to enter free agency instead of play minor league ball, according to MLB rules.

Swihart, who was a member of the 2018 World Series team, hit .255 with a .679 OPS in Boston. As recently as 2015, he was considered the top catcher prospect and among the most coveted young talents in baseball. 

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Blake Swihart thanks Red Sox fans before Diamondbacks debut in Instagram post

Blake Swihart thanks Red Sox fans before Diamondbacks debut in Instagram post

Blake Swihart is about to begin the next chapter in his career after getting traded to the Diamondbacks for minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson Friday.

Before his debut, the 27-year-old went on Instagram to thank the Red Sox and their fans. 

View this post on Instagram

Red Sox Nation - As today is the first day I will wear a jersey that doesn’t have Boston/Red Sox across my chest, I wanted to reach out and thank all of you personally. While today I turn the page on a new chapter, I leave the Red Sox organization with so many amazing friends, teammates, and of course you, the fans. You embraced me as part of “The Nation” as a 19 year-old boy from New Mexico and helped me grow into a man, and last year, into a champion! I take with me so many great memories and look forward to building many new ones as my journey continues in Arizona. Thanks for always being supportive and cheering for me and our teams. You will always hold a special place in my heart and a piece of me will always be part of Red Sox nation!

A post shared by Blake Swihart (@blakeswihart_1) on

Swihart played for the Red Sox in a reserve role since 2015 and posted a .255/.310/.385 slash line before he was designated for assignment Tuesday in order for the Red Sox to bring back Sandy Leon.

Swihart will look to revamp his career in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks plan on trying him out at many positions other than catcher

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Don't look for Swihart behind the plate in Arizona either

Don't look for Swihart behind the plate in Arizona either

At least part of the reason the Red Sox parted ways with Blake Swihart was said to be their lack of faith in his catching ability.

It sounds as if Swihart's new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, doesn't plan on using him a lot at catcher, either. Dbacks GM Mike Hazen, the former Red Sox GM was in Boston's front office when Swihart was a first-round pick in 2011. He told the Arizona Republic he sees the versatile Swihart moving among several positions.

“We really like his bat and think he has a chance to hit,” Hazen said. “If he ended up in a spot where he got to play every day and did what we felt like he could do with the bat, we wouldn’t have had a chance to acquire him.”  

Look for Swihart to fill in at both corner outfield spots, first, third and even second base, Hazen said. Swihart, 27, appeared in one game at second and three at third in his Red Sox career. Hazen said doesn't see him displacing any of the three catchers on Arizona's roster.

When asked where he envisioned Swihart playing, Hazen said, “It could be behind the plate. It could be at a different position.”

A stint in left for the Red Sox ended disastrously for Swihart in 2016 when he injured his ankle colliding with the side wall in left field at Fenway Park. He was limited to only six games the following season before bouncing back last year to appear in 82 games (catching in 28). He hit .229. 

Swihart was designated for assignment earlier this week before the Sox worked out a trade with Arizona on Friday. They also sent $500,000 in international bonus pool money to the Dbacks in exchange for minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson, 22, ranked Arizona's No. 20 prospect by Baseball America. He was hitting .235 with a .879 OPS and two homers in 12 games for Double-A Jackson. Last year, he hit .235 with a .678 OPS, 10 homers and 26 doubles with Class A Visalia. 

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