Blake Swihart’s days with the Boston Red Sox might be numbered.
Despite having a great spring training, the switch-hitting catcher/utility player has had little-to-no role with the team this season. And during a press conference Tuesday to discuss Carson Smith’s injury, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski admitted Swihart’s duties likely won’t change anytime soon.
With Swihart currently serving as the last man off the bench, his agent, The Legacy Agency’s Brodie Scoffield, has asked Boston to trade Swihart.
“Yes. We’ve had conversations with the team, and they’re aware of how we feel,” Scoffield told NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich on Tuesday. “Blake’s in a really difficult position. We’ve got a switch-hitter, offensive impact player, and his bat deserves a chance to be in the lineup.
“Blake’s not the type of player that’s going to ask or demand a trade (on his own). He’s focused on what’s in front of him and happy having a positive impact on the team and the situation at hand. That being said, I don’t think we’re building any type of trade value, nor helping him progress as a ballplayer, nor is the team really being served by him in this role.”
So, will the Red Sox grant Scoffield’s request?
Drellich asked Dombrowski that very question in an email, and here’s the response he got:
A first-round pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, Swihart burst onto the scene in 2015 with an impressive rookie season, batting .274 with five homers and 31 RBIs in 84 games. But injuries, coupled with the emergence of Christian Vazquez, have prevented Swihart from becoming Boston’s “catcher of the future,” a title often applied to him during his days as a top prospect.
This season, with lack of playing time hindering him from finding a groove, Swihart is batting just .138 with zero homers and one RBI in 32 plate appearances.
The Red Sox don’t have to trade Swihart if they don’t want to. But with Smith potentially looking at an extended trip to the disabled list, Boston suddenly has become even thinner in the bullpen, and Swihart could be a valuable trade chip in filling that need.
The Red Sox still could wait until the July 31 trade deadline to see if a greater need presents itself, such as starting pitching or offensive production in the outfield. While unlikely at this point, Boston also could decide to give Swihart a look behind the dish, as the team’s catching tandem of Vazquez and Sandy Leon currently ranks last in Major League Baseball in most offensive categories.
In any event, the Red Sox clearly have a difficult situation on their hands. When it gets resolved remains to be seen.
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