Christian Vázquez seeks more playing time

star catcher Christian Vazquez he’ll be a free agent this offseason, and he’s indicated his top priority will be finding a team willing to give him the starting job.

Vazquez, 32, started 24 of a possible 58 games after being traded from the Red Sox to Houston for minor leaguers. Willyer Abreu Y Emmanuel Valdez the day of the deadline. The team usually chooses Martin Maldonado catch justin verlander, Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers, meaning Vazquez’s starts haven’t been as plentiful as in Boston.

“It was tough and it still is tough,” Vazquez told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “But I will be a free agent after the postseason and I can choose where I want to go. Everybody knows that.”

The Puerto Rico native had been with the Red Sox since he was drafted in the ninth round in 2008, and had been their starting catcher since 2018. He posted a combined .262/.311/.389 line during his time in Boston, and rated as an above-average receiver defensively. His skills with the bat and the ball are well measured, but he is also widely regarded as a strong leader and a positive presence in the clubhouse. Vazquez’s offensive numbers dropped significantly after the trade, and he hit just .250/.278/.308 in 108 plate appearances, but given the sudden drop in playing time, it’s perhaps forgivable that Vazquez struggled. to find consistency initially. Still, he’ll find he’ll do well in free agency as one of the best receivers available.

First bat catcher Willson Contreras he leads receiving free agents, but Vazquez is arguably the second-best option available. With Maldonado under contract in Houston for one more year, Vazquez seems likely to look for a new team to give him the playing time he wants. While almost any team could use a complete receiver like Vazquez, a return to the Red Sox would be something he would welcome.

“I hope so. I’d love to. It was my [house] for a long time,” Vazquez said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

reese mcguire impressed down the stretch for the Red Sox, but kevin plawecki he’s a free agent and Connor Wong struggled in his small sample of playing time, so the Red Sox appear to be active in the receiving market this offseason. Ultimately, though, with the Mets, Twins, Rays, Cardinals, Brewers, Guardians and White Sox among the contending teams that could be looking for upgrades at the position, Vazquez likely has a lot of interest.

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