The San Diego Padres have already made a huge splash this offseason by inking shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million. With Bogaerts now in the fold, will the Padres look to sign the former Boston Red Sox All-Star’s teammate, catcher Christian Vazquez?
Rumors: Could the San Diego Padres be looking to add more former members of the Boston Red Sox?
According to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal in this article for The Athletic (subscription required), negotiations with teams interested in landing Vazquez “appear to be gaining momentum.” The 32-year-old catcher split time last season between the Red Sox and the Houston Astros, where he picked up 19 plate appearances throughout the postseason on the way to helping Houston capture the World Series.
Vazquez and Bogaerts were teammates in Boston for parts of eight seasons, and Rosenthal believes that that relationship may eventually help the Padres lure Vazquez to San Diego to help boost their backstop.
With Austin Nola, Jorge Alfaro, and Luis Campusano last season logging time at catcher in 2022, the Padres finished with a combined 0.2 bWAR, finishing 11th among MLB teams at the position. Vazquez had 2.1 bWAR last season while slashing .274/.315/.399 with nine home runs and 52 RBI. That number is higher than any Padres catcher last season, edging out the 2.0 posted by Nola.
Nola will return in 2023, along with Campusano, but Alfaro is still a free agent, leaving catcher as a position where the Padres could improve this offseason. That’s where Vazquez could come in, if the Padres can outbid the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, and Astros, teams that Rosenthal lists as the biggest threats to San Diego to land Vazquez.
Rosenthal added that San Diego’s efforts to land Vazquez “perhaps intensified” after signing Bogaerts, an interesting footnote as a pair of former teammates in Boston could possibly reunite in San Diego.