It looks like the Red Sox have finally found a use for Will Middlebrooks, as a trade chip for a back up catcher.
Since the Pablo Sandoval signing there were questions as to what to do with Middlebrooks who has been hampered by a lack of power, has problems staying healthy and was refused to head to winter ball when the Red Sox asked.
Rob Bradford states that the deal is in place, with Middlebrooks heading to the Padres for Ryan Hanigan. That is a back up catcher they acquired in an earlier trade set from the Rays.
Source confirms @JeffPassan report of Hanigan for Middlebrooks being close. Deal appears contingent on Middlebrooks passing physical
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) December 19, 2014
Hanigan is a bit of a pricey catcher, with two more years at around $8 million dollars owed on his contract. At 34 years of age, he is an excellent defensive catcher coming off a season in which he batted just .218/.318/.324 in his first season with the Rays.
He could pair well behind the plate with Christian Vazquez.
As Pete Abraham points out, this deal is done when the physical is passed and that is not a sure thing.
As of two weeks ago, Middlebrooks had not started swinging a bat and still had discomfort in his hand. His physical isn’t perfunctory
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 19, 2014
At 26 years old, Middlebrooks was once one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization, but he’s yet to replicate the .288/.325/.509 batting line he put together in his rookie season of 2012.
Since that time, Middlebrooks has dealt with injuries and a rapidly rising strikeout rate, both of which have contributed to a paltry .213/.265/.364 batting line from 2013-14.
Seems that Red Sox Nation was more worried about getting back our on field reporter than losing Middlebrooks.
So the Sox r close to getting Ryan Hanigan 2 back up Vasquez & send Middlebrooks 2 SD. Rumor has it @NESN is also giving us Jenny Dell back.
— Anthony Curtis (@AnthonyCurtis68) December 19, 2014
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell