The Red Sox have signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year contract extension that’ll run through the 2021 season, as Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe was first to tweet (Vazquez was already set to receive $1.425MM this season after his first trip through the arbitration process). According to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald, he’s set to receive $2.85MM in 2019, $4.2MM in 2020, and $6.25MM in 2021. The extension also comes with a club option for 2022, valued at $7MM; that option comes with a $250K buyout, and can increase to $8MM if he manages to accrue at least 502 plate appearances in each of 2020 and 2021. Mastrodonato also tweets that Vazquez has offered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox foundation as part of the agreement. He’s represented by MDR Sports Management.
Over the course of his career, Vazquez hadn’t received much attention for anything other than his defensive prowess behind the plate. That changed a bit, however, when the now-27-year-old hit .290/.330/.404 across 345 plate appearances for the Red Sox in 2017. While a .348 BABIP suggests that those numbers could regress significantly, the combination of an offensive breakout and a stellar defensive reputation apparently convinced the team that he’s worth keeping in the fold through his age-30 season (and possibly his age-31 season as well).
Vazquez will receive $13.55MM in new guarantees from the pact, including the buyout of his option. As for the Red Sox, they’ll receive cost certainty across the catcher’s final two arbitration seasons in addition to delaying his free agency by a year, and possibly two. The pact is somewhat similar to the extension given to Indians catcher Roberto Perez just last season, who’s also a client of MDR Sports Management.
While Vazquez spent last season in a nearly-equal time share with fellow backstop Sandy Leon, the terms of the option (and indeed the extension itself) seem to hint that they’d like to give the lion’s share of at-bats and defensive innings to the former. Considering he’s been worth 31 defensive runs saved in just 1,668 innings behind the dish over the course of his career, more playing time for Vazquez would likely end up paying dividends for Boston.
A largely unheralded ninth-round pick by the Red Sox back in 2008, Vazquez has never known another major league organization. It took him six years to crack the MLB club, and even then he didn’t seem to be a core piece of the team right away. Vazquez owned a .309 career slugging percentage prior to last season, and missed all of 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. However, the Red Sox will hope that last year’s 1.6 fWAR showing is more indicative of his talent moving forward.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Great news. Good success story.
Great lock up some of our core players!
“Vazquez has offered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox foundation as part of the agreement”.
Is this normal? I don’t think I have heard this before.
It has happened a lot. Usually just not mentioned.
Name some others please.
Active Players per Cot’s Baseball Contracts:
Scott Kazmir (in a contract he signed with Tampa Bay)
Jose Reyes (with Mets)
Joaquin Benoit (with Rangers)
Ben Zobrist (with Rays)
David Hernandez (with Reds)
Giancarlo Stanton had it, as part of his 13-year $325M contract extension, with the Marlins.
“Stanton to donate 1 percent of salaries to Marlins club charity”
Under the CBA, those charity commitments, were extinguished, after his trade to NYY.
Yep good for Vazquez. Makes him very easy to root for. I’m sure there is guys in the league who are going for 100 million dollar contracts who would still refuse to donate a small percentage of that.
Imagine a fairly larger percentage of those same ones u mentioned who do not tip, say thank you, smile.. Imagine they have become self centered and believe the world focuses on them only.
Really it just works as a tax break for the Red Sox. They are essentially making a donation to their own foundation (it’s a mandatory contractual clause – not something Vasquez is only optionally doing), and then getting a tax write off for it.
Red Sox get to write it off as a salary expense, and Vazquez gets to declare it as a charitable contribution, reducing the taxes he owes.
The Red Sox are slightly incentivized to pay Vazquez MORE than they would have normally paid because of the donation. Every dollar extra they pay him towards charity is another dollar in salary expense they can count against their taxes. The kicker being each dollar isn’t technically going towards paying Vazquez, but funding RSF.
No issue with the money going to RSF, but really it’s a loophole for the Red Sox/Vazquez to pay less taxes while also helping out a charity.
that’s true from a business and finance perspective BUT the Red Sox (should at least) also be considering that this “extra” money that goes to charity counts against the luxury tax — which BTW they are (close if not already passed) being severely constricted by. yeah they’re over the number and yeah right now it’s ‘just money’ — but going over it a little bit more and they have to start surrendering draft picks and/or international bonus money. which I doubt they’ll do.
and in my opinion, they’re already hurting themselves with the luxury tax because if not for the loophole that got Rusney Castillo’s $ off the books he would be in the Majors. And given his .310+ BA 16 HRs and SB totals in AAA last year (not to mention his okay to more than okay stats in limited ML action) he obviously should be in the majors. I know this is unrelated to the topic at hand… but it just frustrates me that they are wasting all of what could have been/be with Castillo because of stupid signings like Sandoval and Porcello ($20m+) that they can’t even call the poor guy up for an injury replacement.
If the offense keeps coming around, they get a steal. If not, they paid for great defense at a defense first position anyway.
And even if he really falls hard the price isn’t restrictive. Maybe overpaid if he regresses and they use him as a back up but still not bad for a worst case-scenario
Don’t necessarily agree that its a “defense first”position.
Sounds like an excuse for potentially a very average offensive at best known for his defense catcher that’s starting because of no other options other than Leon on the Sox.
If .290 becomes .240 over the course of 2018….bet on Leon starting at least half the games regardless of how terrific Vazquez defense is.
Maybe he does continue his offensive success…..time will tell!
IF.. IF the Sox offense is healthy and productint, I think they will take .240 to have solid defense at catcher. But if they are in dire need of offense than I can see Leon. So it could depend on others production.
This is odd to me
Late bloomer with only modest luck-influenced results at plate in peak-age season. Under control for years anyway. Plays a difficult position which often leads to injury or shortened careers.
Just see little point here
Only makes sense when the only other option is Leon and you still scratch your head at the dollars and length.
And on top of that, they have a 3rd catcher who they’re keeping on the roster (because he’s out of options) who they feel is valuable enough that they couldn’t lose him by submitting him to waivers.
Thank you, it’s about time they extended a part of the core. The last extension to a home grown player was Pedroia. Let’s hope something works out for Benentendi, Betts & Bogaerts soon.
A little early perhaps for Benentendi, but definitely the other 2.
A very good round player with lots of upside. Always like his hustle and way to play the game.
Great news! Love CV’s connection to Yadi Molina as demonstrated in his preparation and hustle.
Great sign. Molina-esque behind the plate. Now let’s secure blue chip prospect Swiharts backup job and say bye bye to senor Sandy Leon.
“Molina-esque,” yes Frank. Agreed!
Wow!!!!!!Can’t say anything else comparing this guy to Molina who not only has been doing it for years, but brings a balanced offense and defense to the position!
Typical Sox fan comment.
It’s a reference to their personal relationship. Vazquez and Molina train together, Yadi’s taken CV ‘under his wing.’ Do your homework, Rocky.
Why 502 plate appearances? That seems like such a random number.
dynamite drop in monty
Sometimes they agree to terms that are percentage based , extrapolated from position averages and how many tacos they can eat.
That is the batting title cutoff I believe.
That’s the minimum to qualify (for things like batting champ). Just used as a benchmark for an entire season.
Vazquez has a great arm behind the plate, but as a Yankee fan I’m happy the Sox don’t have much of a power bat at catcher. Regardless well earned extension, that shows there’s more than one method to being successful
Ask Betances if Vazquez has any power.
He really doesn’t. He has a career .355 slugging with a whopping 7 home runs in 600+ at bats. Vazquez has minimal power. It’s his defense that gets him playing time, certainly not his bat.
The above is absolutely correct and obviously Sanchez has that missing power. If he learns how to block the ball, Sanchez could end up being very special. Then again, his immaturity showed last year against Detroit when he deserved a huge suspension. Hopefully he learned from that break. As for Vasquez, if he hits like last year, he and Sanchez should be competing with Perez for all star spots each year. Nothing wrong with that. Game is in a homerun phase that I don’t expect to last. MLB will soon realize real fans deserve/expect more than strikeouts, walks and homeruns.
Decent deal for both sides. He’s never going to be a star but fills the position adequately enough. The question is can he hold up as the primary catcher. It’s one thing to put up good numbers over 350 ABs but quite another to do over 500 ABs.
Also means they’re finally convinced that Swihart isn’t a future first string catcher.
Good comment RM2. Value of the contract isn’t going to break the bank of his bat falls back. His presence behind the plate is worth the agreement from the team’s perspective. I wonder really what it means for Leon long term who also is a quality backstop and is just one year removed from a surprising at bat season. Neither have a good track record at the plate. That really was Swihart’s expected calling card. With Marerro now gone, the bench until Pedie comes back is Leon, Swihart, Holt and Moreland.
They also just traded Devon Marrero to Arizona for a PTBNL as just mentioned on NESN.
very good move for both parties. Sox get cost certainty and up to 2 years of FA, Vasquez gets a guaranteed $13 plus mil payout which will set him up financially for life. He is only going to get better, there is more power in his bat then what he has shown so far and his leadership potential is off the charts. I see him having the same impact as Varitek did during his playing days in Boston, both as a player and a team leader.
If the Red Sox keep Swihart, which they should do as a utility player, and Leon then they can actually pinch hit for the catcher and use the entire roster. The third catcher, assuming he can play elsewhere as well, is far more valuable than another stiff at the back end of the bullpen.