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FanPost Friday - The Catcher Dilemma

What do you want to do about the log-jam?

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Swihart is still technically a catcher. But his current role lacks some clarity.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s your link to last week’s prompt.

This week, we’re tasked with a slightly different style of prompt. Over the past two weeks, I’ve asked you to share your predictions. Now, I’m going to ask you how you would run things given the opportunity. Rather than give you all the keys at once, I’m only allowing you to make one executive decision having to do with the catching position.

To preface this prompt, let’s introduce the persons of interest.

First, you have Christian Vazquez, the primary catcher. Vazquez is a defensive wizard with great framing abilities, who seemed to fluke his way to being a .290/.330/.404 hitter. Regardless of the flukey nature, he established himself as the top option behind the plate, and retains that role for the near future, given his recent extension.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
If you are brave, try making an argument for Christian Vazquez leaving Boston in favor of a Swihart/Leon tandem!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Secondly, you have Sandy Leon. Leon has come up huge at times for the Red Sox, since being acquired for money from the Washington Nationals. Leon entrenched himself as the backup catcher, and up until the All-Star break was hitting well enough to justify an argument for even trading Christian Vazquez at the time (not that too many would have jumped at the opportunity). After the break, however, Leon struggled, and those struggles, coupled with his rising age have led to whispers among several fans that Leon should be cut going forward.

Finally, you have the wildcard, Blake Swihart. I could write a book about the story of Blake Swihart, but if you were going to write a summary of his value to the Red Sox in 100 words or less, you’d have several of those 100 words resulting in unanswered questions. His athleticism is unquestioned. His ability to hit has been showcased in the past. He was the story of Spring Training. And yet, here he is, on the main roster, with 7 plate appearances in 12 games. The only action he’s seen in the field has been at first base. He’s also slotted in at Designated Hitter twice. He’s out of options.

But that last part is true for all three of these catchers. All three catchers would have to be exposed to the waiver process in order to attempt sending them down to the minor leagues. Swihart and Vazquez, as you can imagine, would be scooped up in an instant, due to their low cost, and high potential. Leon’s chances of being claimed are lower, but still relatively high considering the lack of acceptable backup catcher options at the major league level.

With all three forced to be on the roster, Swihart has been forced into a quasi-utility role, at least until the log-jam is figured out. It’s possible this could hold the entire season, but it does not have to.

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Sandy Leon has had some good moments in Boston. He’s also had some bad ones. Recently, it’s been more of the latter.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

So my question for you, my fellow users, is this:

What do you wish to do about the perceived catching log-jam on the Red Sox? Do you attempt to send Leon or Swihart through waivers? Do you see a good trade fit? If so, for whom, and why do you believe they are a good fit for the Sox? If you clear a roster spot, who do you bring up from the minor leagues? If you choose to try keeping all three, what’s your plan regarding Blake Swihart and the utility experiment?

You do not have to answer all the questions. Feel free to only answer one or two of them. Let us know what you think, and we’ll have the standard response session ready to roll out on Monday or Tuesday!*

*knock on wood