Last we heard from the Red Sox they were reportedly finishing up a deal Saturday night to bring left-handed starting pitcher Martín Pérez back on a one-year deal with a club option for a second year. Now, a few days later as we sit here on Monday, the deal still has yet to be finalized and the corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster has yet to be determined. It appears that may change soon. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com is reporting that Boston is working on a deal that would send infield prospect CJ Chatham to the Phillies.
The deal is reportedly for a player to be named later or cash.
The Phillies have acquired prospect INF C.J. Chatham from the Red Sox for a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Vìctor Arano has been DFA’d.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) January 18, 2021
This deal is similar to the Yoan Aybar trade that sent the left-handed reliever to Colorado for prospect Christian Koss. Aybar had found himself the victim of circumstance in 2020 and the Red Sox needed that 40-man spot, so they traded him for a solid prospect that didn’t have to be added to the 40-man. Similarly, Chatham has seemingly fallen out of favor with the organization, as it never even appeared he was considered to get some time at second base last summer despite that position being in flux throughout the season.
As we look ahead to 2021, Chatham is behind at least Christian Arroyo and Michael Chavis on the depth chart, and likely also behind guys like Yairo Muñoz and Jonathan Araúz, to say nothing of top prospect Jeter Downs being ready sooner than later as well as the possibility of adding a veteran in free agency. Really, there was no path to playing time for him here, so it is best for both the team and player to move on.
So, now Chatham, a former second round pick, gets a chance in a new organization that perhaps has a clearer path to playing time. He also rejoins Dave Dombrowski, who was just recently hired by the Phillies and was at the helm of Boston’s front office when they selected Chatham back in 2016.
We won’t be able to judge this deal fully until we know the exact return, but consider it at this point a more extravagant version of designating for assignment, with the main goal seemingly being to make room on the roster for Pérez.
And, just as I finished up this post Boston made it official.
The #RedSox today traded INF C.J. Chatham to PHI in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. The 40-man roster is now at 39.— Red Sox (@RedSox) January 18, 2021
I’d expect an announcement making the Pérez signing official to come soon as well.