Red Sox trade (P) Springs and Mazza to TB Rays for (C) Hernandez

SouthernBoSox

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It’s really interesting because obviously those guys were cleared from the 40, but Hernandez is very much real. For an organization that has very little catching depth, he will fit in nicely in AA and is immediately a top 15 prospect in this system.
 

chawson

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Mazza and Springs were better than their numbers last year but this is really good repurposing of spare parts of ours.

Ronaldo Hernandez is on the 40-man so it doesn’t much clear up our crunch, but he’s probably the #10 guy in our system if he isn’t traded. It does seem to inch Vazquez closer to the door.
 

BaseballJones

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And Bloom obviously has a lot of knowledge on Hernandez and Sogard. I love these kinds of deals.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Mazza and Springs were better than their numbers last year but this is really good repurposing of spare parts of ours.

Ronaldo Hernandez is on the 40-man so it doesn’t much clear up our crunch, but he’s probably the #10 guy in our system if he isn’t traded. It does seem to inch Vazquez closer to the door.
Hernandez is 23 and hasn't played above A-ball yet, so I don't see how this is inching Vazquez anywhere. He's a prospect, and a highly touted one, but he's probably two years from the big leagues. Which, coincidentally or not, is how long Vazquez is still under contract.
 

amRadio

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Sub-.300 OBP at high A ball last time the minor leagues existed. 23 seems like a late age to develop his zone recognition. I think "legit prospect" is a tad strong. Hoping people here know more about his defense, couldn't find a lengthy scouting report.
 

jose melendez

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I was looking at his stats in bref, saw nothing for 2020 and assumed he was coming off an injury. Of course there were no 2020 numbers.
 

amRadio

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Well, I would think Bloom does, no?
Ah, yes, let's not analyze the player, what's the point? Nice snarky post though. Big contributor to the thread.

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A rocket, 70-grade arm and solid catch-and-throw skills help Hernandez control the running game, and he's thrown out 36 and 39 percent of basestealers, respectively, in his first two full-season campaigns.

Anywho - this is the excerpt that google has to his MLB.com scouting report, but unfortunately the link to the full report is dead and the other I found is behind a paywall. He could have great skills defensively, but I would still say he's not pushing Vaz anywhere and isn't a sure bet to ever play in the majors.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Sub-.300 OBP at high A ball last time the minor leagues existed. 23 seems like a late age to develop his zone recognition. I think "legit prospect" is a tad strong. Hoping people here know more about his defense, couldn't find a lengthy scouting report.
He was 21 in 2019. He was a 21 year old catcher in very low offensive output high A league. He put up a +wRC of 104. Again, -2 years in high A. He put up a +wRC 133 as a 20 year old catch in low A. There aren’t many catching prospects that can say that.

If he isn’t a legit prospect then only prospects in AAA should be considered “legit”

He is immediately out best catching prospect, and one that should start the year in AA.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I see this as trading 2 pennies for 2 pieces of gum from a machine (circa 1985). Maybe the gum is worth it, maybe it isn't, but if it keeps things interesting for the fans and maybe helps a little with deep deep catching depth, why not.
 

johnnywayback

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I love this. Two guys who were on the periphery of the roster for a guy with two plus tools who plays the position of weakest depth in the organization. There is like a 7 percent chance Hernandez becomes Gary Sanchez, and if that happens it's the Slocumb trade all over again. More likely projection: The robot strike zone ameliorates his framing weakness, they figure out how to get to a little more of his raw power in-game (Fangraphs notes that he was making adjustments at the alt site in 2020), and he becomes a perfectly cromulent backup catcher or even a second-division starter. Still a huge win.
 

chawson

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Here's what Fangraphs wrote about him two winters ago (Nov. '18):

You know, the Rays really needed another breakout prospect. Signed for less than a quarter million, which is chump change on the international market, Hernandez is now looking like one of the top catching prospects in all of baseball. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills and hits for excellent pop, going deep 21 times in a league that doesn’t generate a ton of power (Only three players in the Midwest League topped 20 homers and the other two had at least 135 strikeouts to Hernandez’s 69). Although he’s a converted infielder, the 20-year-old backstop has all the makings of a plus defender.

He had a rough 2019 and not sure how he spent his time last year, but he's only a couple years removed from being ranked alongside catching prospects Daulton Varsho, Sean Murphy and Will Smith in the Top 100. There's some work to do but it's a very nice return for a waiver claim (Mazza) and a guy we got for Sam Travis.
 

ngruz25

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I was surprised to see that Connor Wong had fallen off the Sox Prospect's top 20 prospects after debuting as the #12 prospect last year. Obviously there's been a draft and several acquisitions since then, but given that he's dropped several slots without playing a game... is he not expected to stick at catcher anymore or something?
 

SouthernBoSox

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I love this. Two guys who were on the periphery of the roster for a guy with two plus tools who plays the position of weakest depth in the organization. There is like a 7 percent chance Hernandez becomes Gary Sanchez, and if that happens it's the Slocumb trade all over again. More likely projection: The robot strike zone ameliorates his framing weakness, they figure out how to get to a little more of his raw power in-game (Fangraphs notes that he was making adjustments at the alt site in 2020), and he becomes a perfectly cromulent backup catcher or even a second-division starter. Still a huge win.
This is exactly right. Hernández isn’t some unreal, can’t miss prospect, but he slots into a organizational gap and has legit upside. Getting him for 2 DFA guys is an under the radar no risk move.

You keep at it, you relentlessly add people with upside to your organization, and at some point someone gonna stick. The key is to stay focused, discipline, and make any move that helps the organization in any way.
 

Seabass177

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Keith Law had him at 11 in a stacked Rays system, here's his write up:

If Hernandez were a no-doubt catcher, he’d be a top-100 prospect based on his bat, but his framing and receiving probably won’t work at the position unless we get the automated strike zone in the near future. Hernandez can hit, however. The Colombian backstop rarely strikes out, doing so in less than 14 percent of his pro plate appearances, and is strong enough for hard contact, but he struggled with his approach in High A in 2019, getting too aggressive early in counts, and needs reps to work on his plan at the plate.

Seems like a great add to the system.
 

grimshaw

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The Rays system is ridiculous. They have two higher rated catchers in their minor leagues.

There are going to be a lot of prospects "old" for their level due to COVID last season. We may be seeing the trickle down effect from teams that need to win now shedding some of their depth to get marginal MLB benefits.
 

amRadio

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He was 21 in 2019. He was a 21 year old catcher in very low offensive output high A league. He put up a +wRC of 104. Again, -2 years in high A. He put up a +wRC 133 as a 20 year old catch in low A. There aren’t many catching prospects that can say that.

If he isn’t a legit prospect then only prospects in AAA should be considered “legit”

He is immediately out best catching prospect, and one that should start the year in AA.
These points are well taken but he is 23 now and his last professional action saw him at a .299 OBP over a full season of PA's. I agree starting him at AA is the move, and from what small blurbs I can find on his defense that part of his game seems extremely promising. But, if he had a horrible time getting on base at high A ball, I just don't see anything that would say he will do better against higher levels of competition. He isn't some young kid anymore, he may have been pre-COVID when he got to high A, but especially for a player with a weakness in zone recognition, missing a year of game action is pretty tough. If there aren't improvements in AA he's not going to be on an upward trajectory headed toward the majors.

It's a reasonable move, I'm not saying it was a poor move. Just pushing back that he's a "pretty legitimate prospect" and I think baseball fans often have a tendency to project rosy gains and improvement from young players in the minors even when there isn't really any empirical basis for that optimism.

Like this bit from Keith Law posted above:

If Hernandez were a no-doubt catcher, he’d be a top-100 prospect based on his bat
Like, huh? He fell from a .832 OPS to a .696 OPS after making the jump to high A ball. Back-to-back seasons, 450 PA's the first year in A ball, 425 PA's the next year in A+. I have no idea how someone can write "he has a top 100 bat" based on that. If someone struggles that badly in A+ it just seems very rosy to look at 2018 and project on from there. His bat profiles just like other fringe catcher prospects - really badly at anywhere other than C. Just seems a little optimistic.
 

jon abbey

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He is already on the 40 man, so that is another player Bloom will need to drop. Anyone know where they stand on this now?
 

Ale Xander

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Hernandez is a good prospect, but ML rosters usually have 11-12 pitchers and 2 catchers, so I can see why TB would be doing it too. (i.e. pitchers are never "blocked")
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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These points are well taken but he is 23 now and his last professional action saw him at a .299 OBP over a full season of PA's. I agree starting him at AA is the move, and from what small blurbs I can find on his defense that part of his game seems extremely promising. But, if he had a horrible time getting on base at high A ball, I just don't see anything that would say he will do better against higher levels of competition. He isn't some young kid anymore, he may have been pre-COVID when he got to high A, but especially for a player with a weakness in zone recognition, missing a year of game action is pretty tough. If there aren't improvements in AA he's not going to be on an upward trajectory headed toward the majors.

It's a reasonable move, I'm not saying it was a poor move. Just pushing back that he's a "pretty legitimate prospect" and I think baseball fans often have a tendency to project rosy gains and improvement from young players in the minors even when there isn't really any empirical basis for that optimism.
Age 23 at AA as a catcher is pretty on target for a prospect. Jason Varitek debuted as a big leaguer at 25. Vazquez was pressed into service due to injuries at 23 but didn't become a full time big leaguer until 25 (post-TJS). 23 for a catcher is still a "young kid" in a lot of respects.
 

amRadio

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Age 23 at AA as a catcher is pretty on target for a prospect. Jason Varitek debuted as a big leaguer at 25. Vazquez was pressed into service due to injuries at 23 but didn't become a full time big leaguer until 25 (post-TJS). 23 for a catcher is still a "young kid" in a lot of respects.
But 23 with a big gap year where he faced live pitching sparingly compared to a full season?
 

Danny_Darwin

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Am I the only one wondering what the Rays know here? Why don’t they want this guy and why do they want those two other guys? I guess it’s ultimately low-stakes, but still.
 

Ale Xander

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The Rays system is ridiculous. They have two higher rated catchers in their minor leagues.

There are going to be a lot of prospects "old" for their level due to COVID last season. We may be seeing the trickle down effect from teams that need to win now shedding some of their depth to get marginal MLB benefits.
Am I the only one wondering what the Rays know here? Why don’t they want this guy and why do they want those two other guys? I guess it’s ultimately low-stakes, but still.
 

jon abbey

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Am I the only one wondering what the Rays know here? Why don’t they want this guy and why do they want those two other guys? I guess it’s ultimately low-stakes, but still.
I'm right there with you, the thing I am most confused about is how the Rays have 40 man space for those guys, although I guess they are about to put a ton of guys onto the 60 day IL.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Am I the only one wondering what the Rays know here? Why don’t they want this guy and why do they want those two other guys? I guess it’s ultimately low-stakes, but still.
From what I've read, they have a glut of catching prospects. And given that Hernandez is already on their 40-man, maybe they don't feel like he's going to get to full time big leaguer in the 3-year window in front of him? They perhaps feel they have a better use for that 40-man spot than a catcher so far away from the big leagues. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the guy. He just doesn't fit their timeline.
 

E5 Yaz

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Well, I would think Bloom does, no?
From what I've read, they have a glut of catching prospects. And given that Hernandez is already on their 40-man, maybe they don't feel like he's going to get to full time big leaguer in the 3-year window in front of him? They perhaps feel they have a better use for that 40-man spot than a catcher so far away from the big leagues. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the guy. He just doesn't fit their timeline.
Yep, this is the equation right here. Bloom knew of the Rays' catching glut and worked out a deal for the one that might be the odd man out. Well worth the cost.
 

DeadlySplitter

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while I hope Plawecki is all fine, that's an interesting way to free up a roster spot until Sale can go on the 60-day. EDIT: today is the first 60-day apparently, but still need a spot for Gonzalez

Also, catchers notoriously bloom late, 23 / single A is no big deal.

My main concern is that the Rays' magic turns Mazza or Springs into an actually good player, but hey, we needed the C prospect much more than a potential marginal difference in the standings for 2021.
 
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SouthernBoSox

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Springs has very intriguing statcast spin rates. Would be no surprise if he became productive.

Its still a fantastic move that required leaving no stone unturned.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Keith Law had him at 11 in a stacked Rays system, here's his write up:

If Hernandez were a no-doubt catcher, he’d be a top-100 prospect based on his bat, but his framing and receiving probably won’t work at the position unless we get the automated strike zone in the near future. Hernandez can hit, however. The Colombian backstop rarely strikes out, doing so in less than 14 percent of his pro plate appearances, and is strong enough for hard contact, but he struggled with his approach in High A in 2019, getting too aggressive early in counts, and needs reps to work on his plan at the plate.

Seems like a great add to the system.
So he was in the top-100 in '19, but fell out due to his defense?
 

nvalvo

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Nick Sogard looks like an interesting organizational/depth/utility type player. He's Eric Sogard's cousin, and the nephew of Dave and Steve Sax.

Good eye, but no power to speak of. He posted a .290/.405/.313 in short-season A ball in 2019 as a 21 year old. Almost as many walks and hits, some stolen bases, plays all around the infield.

He seems old to suddenly grow into a bunch more power, but it would take much to turn a guy with that batting eye and hit tool into a prospect — who knows?
 

SouthernBoSox

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So he was in the top-100 in '19, but fell out due to his defense?
His overall production dropped with the move from Low A to High A. Again, it wasn’t a disaster, but he lit up Low A at 20 years old as a catcher. That will put you on top 100 lists. He’s got that of talent, but it just hasn’t come together at an upper level yet. It might never happen, but if it were to click he’d instantly become a top 100 guy again.
 

DJnVa

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Ah, yes, let's not analyze the player, what's the point? Nice snarky post though. Big contributor to the thread.
Are you missing my point that Bloom worked for the organization that the player came from? My "contribution" would be that Bloom should have some info we're missing. Not everything is a shot at you, it was a note that despite OUR lack of info, Bloom is even more plugged into it as a former member of that organization.
 
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Shaky Walton

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The fact that the Sox pulled of a trade with TB made me wonder at first. But Bloom presumably has good relations with Tampa people, thereby making communication easier. And well, the man just made a deal with the Hated Yankees. Meaning nothing is off the table.

Love him or hate him, or be unclear on him...Chaim clearly is a different sort of Sheriff and I don't think this will be the last time we see him do a deal with rivals. Unless and until, that is, one side gets totally fleeced.
 

JBJ_HOF

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Should be noted his 2019 was in the very pitcher-centric Florida State League