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Red Sox Notes: Victor Santos, Kier Meredith, Matt Litwicki

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Catching up on a few weekend items.

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Boston Red Sox Summer Workouts
CJ Chatham, whose trade to Philadelphia was officially completed this weekend.
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox did not have a great weekend out in the Bronx, dropping two of three to the Yankees to give them three straight series losses and a bad taste in their mouths to start off the second half. Amid the losing, though, there were a few transactions from the weekend we need to catch up on, as well as last week’s SBN Reacts polls.

Red Sox acquire Victor Santos from Phillies

One of the first moves former Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made in his new job with the Phillies was to acquire C.J. Chatham from the Red Sox. A former Dombrowski draft pick, the infielder didn’t have a clear path to the majors for Boston and was acquired for a player to be named later by the Phillies in January. That deal has been completed today, with the Red Sox receiving Victor Santos, a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher.

Santos was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic back in 2016, and has been able to produce at pretty much every level he’s appeared. The righty made his way up to full-season ball as a 19-year-old in 2019, pitching solidly in a swingman role and finishing up the year with an ERA just a shade above 4.00. This season, he started things off at High-A, pitching in a multi-inning relief role with a 1.33 ERA over 20 13 innings with 25 strikeouts and five walks. He’s since been promoted to Double-A, where he’s made four starts and tossed 20 23 innings, pitching to a 3.05 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four walks. He’s expected to report to Portland.

Santos doesn’t have big stuff, but he’s shown strong command, particularly given his age, and comes in as a much more interesting prospect than I would have expected to receive for Chatham. The former Red Sox second round pick, and the second draft pick Dombrowski made with the Red Sox, has not really impressed in his new home, still yet to get to the majors and hitting just .269/.351/.343 over 77 plate appearances in Triple-A. He’s missed a significant chunk of time this year with a fractured hand.

Red Sox sign undrafted free agent, as well as 10th round pick

The Red Sox made a couple of minor moves with draft prospects over the weekend as well, adding one undrafted name while also inking their first bonus of their actual draft class. We’ll start with the undrafted free agent, Kier Meredith, who is an outfielder from Clemson. Meredith was technically a sophomore last year, but that’s after missing both 2018 and 2019 due to injury and then having 2020 wiped out due to COVID. There’s plenty of be excited about, with scouts specifically raving about his makeup. He also put up some good numbers with the Tigers, hitting .283/.387/.422 on the year, including three home runs. Here is one of them, with a hell of a bat flip thrown in as well.

In addition to the undrafted free agent joining the organization, the Red Sox also inked one of their draft picks to an under slot bonus. Boston signed 10th round pick Matt Litwicki to a $47,500 bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. That bonus comes in about $100,000 under slot, giving the Red Sox a modest amount to play with through the rest of their class. This is the fourth prospect to have signed for Boston, with third rounder Tyler McDonough signing for a slot deal while fifth rounder Daniel McElveny signed an under slot deal. Both were reported by Masslive’s Chris Cotillo.

Litwicki, who comes from the University of Indiana, is a pure reliever who missed time last year due to back and shoulder injuries, but he has the kind of stuff you look for in the late innings, with a big fastball and a slider that can get plenty of whiffs. As a reminder, you can keep up with the signings with our draft tracker.

SB Nation Reacts

Here’s catching up on last week’s SB Nation Reacts poll results, which you can sign up for here. We’ll start with the fans’ confidence in the team’s direction, which had reached a season high in the previous week but took a step back heading into the All-Star break after a couple straight series losses. They dropped another over the weekend, so this number could drop further. But for now, it’s at 76 percent.

We also had a whole lot of questions around the All-Star festivities themselves.

I actually think if I were ranking these options, I would go in the exact reverse order as what’s presented here. I also, however, recognize I’m not the typical baseball fan, so this order seems about right.

I get the impulse to say no here, especially as long as we’re using All-Star berths for something like Hall of Fame resumés. That said, that’s an issue with putting too much importance in All-Star appearances. It should be for the fans, and specifically kids, and even with a bad team it’s fun for kids to see one of their favorite team’s players in the game. I’m good with guaranteeing a spot for every team.

I’m a yes, easily.

We also got some suggestions on how to improve the All-Star week.

This one sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t work without realignment or expansion, which comes with its own issues. But I agree once they do expand — and it’ll happen at some point — they can go back to playing very few interleague games.

Again, a good idea in theory, but good luck getting players wanting to play, and more importantly in getting teams allowing their stars to play in a game while they’re trying to get ramped up for the season. I think it could work, but I can’t see it actually happening in practice.

I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I’m just not sure this is realistic. People have been clamoring for this for years, but teams won’t want to risk injuries, especially for something like a pitcher velocity contest.

We need to expose this person and publicly shame them.

This.... Well, this one actually rules. Let’s do it.