As you know, we are in a lockout right now so rosters are frozen. Teams cannot sign or acquire any players until the league and the Players Association can come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). However, this time gives us some time to ponder possible trades that could go down once regular offseason moves can resume.
One possible trade that could happen involves the Boston Red Sox. The San Diego Padres recently acquired Jorge Alfaro from the Miami Marlins before the lockout. This surprising move gave San Diego four catchers on their depth chart. Alfaro is joined by Austin Nola, Victor Caratini, and Luis Campusano.
It’s very improbable that the Padres decide to carry four catchers on the roster come Opening Day, so moving one of them would make sense. You wouldn’t think AJ Preller would move Alfaro right after acquiring him and Caratini is Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove’s personal catcher so you wouldn’t think the front office would deal him either. That leaves Campusano and Nola as the two primary trade candidates in a possible Red Sox deal.
Possible Trade Scenario
Red Sox receive: Luis Campusano or Austin Nola and Eric Hosmer (take on $20 million of his remaining contract)
Padres receive: Pitching prospect (such as Brayan Bello)
A catcher could be a position that Boston’s Chaim Bloom wants to strengthen since current starting catcher, Christian Vasquez, is a free agent at the end of this coming season. Nola and Campusano fit contract wise because Nola has four more years of control and Campusano still has six.
It also isn’t hard to imagine that the Red Sox would be interested in Campusano considering he’s just 23 years of age compared to Vasquez (31 years old) and has good power with a strong arm. It also was just two seasons ago that Nola was hitting over .300 with the Mariners before the trade to the Padres before the deadline.
From the Padres’ perspective, trading Nola or especially Campusano would be a significant loss so they’d want the team acquiring him to, in return, give San Diego some payroll flexibility by taking on a portion of the remaining $59 million of Eric Hosmer’s contract. Doing so would allow the Padres to have more money to give to a power hitting outfielder, such as Nicholas Castellanos or Kris Bryant, who are two players they reportedly have interest in. I understand that Jackie Bradley Jr. is making only $10 million but he’s one of the worst offensive outfielders in baseball, and they still acquired him for former Padre Hunter Renfroe before the lockout, so the Red Sox are clearly willing to take on salary if they get a nice prospect back.
This deal for the Padres would give them the opportunity to make the team better later in the offseason. It wouldn’t be so much about what players they get in return, even though Bello is one of Boston’s best pitching prospects, but more so about the flexibility they get from moving Hosmer and freeing up a roster spot by moving a catcher.