Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez off to encouraging start with new organization

Recently-acquired prospect Enmanuel Valdez has gotten his tenure in the Red Sox organization off to a strong start.

In Triple-A Worcester’s 6-5 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Moosic, Pa. on Sunday, Valdez went 1 for 4 with a two-run single while batting third and starting at second base.

Since joining the WooSox earlier this month, the left-handed hitter has batted a stout .297/.372/.649 with one double, four home runs, 15 RBIs, nine runs scored, one stolen base, five walks, and nine strikeouts over 10 games (44 plate appearances). Two of those homers came in the same game this past Friday.

Valdez, 23, was one of two prospects (the other being Wilyer Abreu) the Red Sox acquired from the Astros in the trade that sent veteran catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston on August 1.

Now regarded by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Valdez originally signed with the Astros as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The San Juan de la Maguana native began the 2022 season with Houston’s Double-A affiliate before earning a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land in early June.

Between the Space Cowboys and WooSox, Valdez has slashed .296/.352/.577 to go along with 26 extra-base hits (14 homers), 47 runs driven in, 35 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 38 strikeouts across 48 games (217 plate appearances) at the Triple-A level.

Defensively, Valdez was initially signed as a shortstop seven years ago but has since proven capable of moving all across the field. Already with the WooSox, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder has logged 70 innings at second base, nine innings at third base, and eight innings in left field. He also has experience at first base, shortstop, and in right field.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Valdez is “a bat-first infielder with a good combination of power and contact but major defensive questions.” He “has a bat-first second base profile with a lot of offensive skills to believe in.”

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline if they wish to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette /USA TODAY NETWORK)

Michael Wacha tosses 7 scoreless innings in first start since June 28 as Red Sox blank Yankees, 3-0, to earn series victory

The Red Sox won their second straight series against an American League East opponent with a shutout victory over the Yankees on Sunday night. Boston defeated New York by a final score of 3-0 to improve to 57-59 on the season.

Matched up against Jameson Taillon out of the gate, leadoff man Tommy Pham set the tone right away in the first inning. Pham led off by ripping a line-drive double to left-center field. He moved up to third base on a Rafael Devers groundout and scored the game’s first run on an RBI groundout off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

Michael Wacha took over from there. Making his first start since June 28 after being activated from the 15-day injured list earlier in the afternoon, Wacha showed no signs of rust in his return to the mound. The veteran right-hander kept the Yankees off the scoreboard while scattering two hits and one walk to go along with a season-high nine strikeouts over seven strong innings of work.

After retiring the first 14 batters he faced, Wacha saw his bid for a perfect game come to an end when he gave up a softly-hit two-out single to Miguel Andujar. He then issued his first and only walk of the evening to Isiah Kiner-Filefa before getting Kyle Higashioka to ground out to Devers at third base.

Wacha yielded a one-out single to Andrew Benintendi in the sixth but left him there by fanning Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson. He ended his night by punching out two more in a scoreless top of the seventh.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (59 strikes), Wacha threw 36 four-seam fastballs, 21 changeups, 19 cutters, eight curveballs, and five sinkers. The 31-year-old hurler induced a game-high 10 swings-and-misses with his changeup and also averaged 93.8 mph with his four-seamer. He picked up his seventh win and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.44.

Moments before Wacha recorded the final out of the seventh, Devers broke out in the latter half of the sixth. After Pham led the inning off with another single, Devers promptly clubbed a 433-foot two-run home run to deep right field off Taillon.

Devers’ 25th homer of the season left his bat at a blistering 110.4 mph. It also gave the Red Sox some breathing room in the form of a 3-0 lead.

In relief of Wacha, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier made quick work of the Yankees in the eighth to pave the way for Garrett Whitlock, who did the same in the ninth to secure the victory and his fourth save of the year.

All told, three Boston pitchers (Wacha, Brasier, and Whitlock) combined to toss nine scoreless innings in which they only gave up two hits and one walk while striking out 11.

Offensively, Pham went 3 for 4 with two runs scored out of the leadoff spot while Devers went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Both of Devers’ hits left his bat at more than 110 mph. They were the two hardest-hits of the game, per Baseball Savant.

Also of note, Sunday’s contest took all of two hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Next up: On to Pittsburgh

The Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Monday before traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates on the road for the first time since September 2014. Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener while fellow right-hander Mitch Keller is expected to do the same for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Michael Wacha from injured list, option Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have activated right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list. In a corresponding move, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday afternoon.

Wacha returns from the injured list after being sidelined for the last five-plus weeks with right shoulder inflammation. The 31-year-old made two rehab appearances for Triple-A Worcester and Double-A Portland on August 4 and 9, allowing a total of two runs on four hits, three walks, and 13 strikeouts over nine combined innings with the WooSox and Sea Dogs.

At the big-league level this season, Wacha — who signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Boston last November — has posted a 2.69 ERA and 3.97 FIP to go along with 50 strikeouts to 22 walks over 13 starts spanning 70 1/3 innings of work.

Despite missing as much time as he has to this point in the year, Wacha currently leads all Red Sox pitchers in bWAR (2.2), per Baseball-Reference. Boston is 9-4 in games started by Wacha, who will be getting the ball in Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Hernandez, meanwhile, has struggled to find his footing out of the Red Sox bullpen so far this season. Since making his 2022 debut one month ago Sunday, the 25-year-old has surrendered 17 runs (16 earned) on 14 hits, eight walks, and nine strikeouts across seven outings and 6 2/3 innings pitched. That is good for an ERA of 21.60.

After failing to make Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, Hernandez tore his right meniscus while with the WooSox in May and missed nearly two weeks of action as a result. In Worcester, the Venezuelan-born southpaw has produced a 4.68 ERA (3.59 FIP) over 14 appearances (seven starts) and 25 innings.

With Hernandez being optioned, Austin Davis is now the only left-handed reliever on the Red Sox’ 26-man roster.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Red Sox squander late scoring chances in 3-2 loss to Yankees; Andrew Benintendi shines on both side of the ball against former team

The Red Sox came up short of another walk-off win over the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night. Boston fell to New York by a final score of 3-2 to drop to 56-59 on the season.

Matched up against newly-acquired Yankees starter Frankie Montas, the Sox drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alex Verdugo and Christian Arroyo both drew walks while Eric Hosmer singled to load the bases with one out. Jarren Duran then took a 91 mph cutter off his knee to drive in Verdugo before Reese McGuire plated Hosmer on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Kutter Crawford, meanwhile, was in the midst of making his ninth start of the season for Boston. The rookie right-hander faced the minimum through his first three innings of work. He issued a walk to Anthony Rizzo and a single to Josh Donaldson in the fourth, which put runners at the corners with two outs for Gleyber Torres.

Torres proceeded to rip a 341-foot laser in the direction of Verdugo in right field. Verdugo initially took a step inward, but corrected himself in time to make a fantastic catch on the run to strand Rizzo and Donaldson and end the inning there.

The Yankees finally got to Crawford in the fifth, however. After issuing a leadoff walk to old friend Andrew Benintendi, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It was a 372-foot blast over the Green Monster that was good for Kiner-Falefa’s first long ball of the season.

While that did prove to be costly, Crawford did end his night on a solid note by retiring five of the final six hitters he faced through the middle of the sixth. The 26-year-old hurler wound up surrendering the two runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings. Fifty-nine of the 94 pitches he threw went for strikes and his ERA on the season now sits at 4.18.

In relief of Crawford, Hirokazu Sawamure received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Sawamura struck out two in a scoreless top of the seventh. In the latter half of the frame, the Red Sox lineup now found themselves opposed by Yankees reliever Lou Trivino.

Xander Bogaerts ripped a two-out double to left field, which prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to turn to Aroldis Chapman with the left-handed hitting Verdugo due to hit next for the Sox. Chapman plunked Verdugo to bring J.D. Martinez to the plate in a prime run-scoring spot. But the bat was taken out of Martinez’s hands when Chapman caught Bogaerts trying to steal third base and picked him off to extinguish the threat.

John Schreiber took over for Sawamura and put up another zero in the eighth. In the ninth, he gave up a one-out double to Beintendi that was immediately followed by a Jose Trevino infield single to put runners on the corners.

Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Schreiber was tasked with facing Kiner-Falefa, who came through for the Yankees yet again by dropping a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt that scored Benintendi from third to make it a 3-2 game.

Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox showed some signs of life against Scott Effross. McGuire and Pham each singled with one out to put runners at first and second for the meat of the order. But Rafael Devers grounded into a force out at second base and Bogaerts popped out to first base to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base as a team. Devers, Bogaerts, and Martinez went a combined 1-for-14 with two strikeouts. Pitching-wise, Schreiber was charged with his second loss of the year.

Next up: Wacha returns for rubber match

The Red Sox will activate right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list to start Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees. Wacha has been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation since early July. Fellow righty Jameson Taillon will start for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox select Jeurys Familia from Triple-A Worcester, option Kaleb Ort; Chris Sale transferred to 60-day injured list

Before taking on the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night, the Red Sox selected the contract of veteran reliever Jeurys Familia from Triple-A Worcester.

In order to make room for Familia on the 26-man roster, fellow reliever Kaleb Ort was optioned to Worcester following Friday night’s 3-2 win over New York. In order to make room for Familia on the 40-man roster, left-hander Chris Sale was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list, the club announced.

Familia, 32, signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last Tuesday after being designated for assignment and subsequently released by the Phillies earlier this month. The Dominican-born right-hander had joined Philadelphia on a one-year pact back in March but struggled to the tune of a 6.09 ERA and 4.88 FIP with 33 strikeouts to 15 walks over 38 appearances spanning 34 innings of work.

In his lone outing with the WooSox in Moosic, Pa. this past Thursday, Familia struck out the side on 13 pitches (10 strikes) against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He works with a sinker, a four-seamer, a slider, and a splitter.

A veteran of 11 big-league seasons, Familia initially broke in with the Mets in 2012 and emerged as New York’s closer in 2015. He recorded a league-leading 51 saves in 2016 while being named an All-Star for the first time and finishing 17th in National League MVP voting.

Between the Mets, Athletics, and Phillies, Familia owns a 3.46 ERA (3.53 FIP) across 532 2/3 total innings at the major-league level. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound hurler will wear the No. 31 with the Red Sox.

Ort, meanwhile, just wrapped up his second stint of the season with Boston. The 30-year-old has pitched to a 9.00 ERA — but a much more respectable 4.05 FIP — to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 12 appearances (15 innings) with the big-league club so far in 2022.

Sale, on the other hand, saw his 2022 season come to an end last weekend after undergoing surgery to repair a broken right wrist that came as a result of a bicycle accident. The 33-year-old southpaw was already on the 15-day injured list due to a left fifth finger fracture, so he will no longer occupy a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster.

Following Saturday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 26-man and 40-man rosters are both currently at full capacity.

(Picture of Jeurys Familia: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Tommy Pham comes through with walk-off single in 10th inning as Red Sox come back to defeat Yankees, 3-2

The Red Sox walked off the Yankees in 10 innings at Fenway Park on Friday night. Tommy Pham immersed himself into the storied rivalry by lifting Boston to a 3-2 victory over New York.

Well before that, though, Nathan Eovaldi made his 18th start of the season for the Sox. The veteran right-hander grinded through six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

The first of those two runs came right away in the top of the first inning. After issuing a one-out walk to Aaron Judge, Eovaldi gave up an RBI double to Anthony Rizzo. Two innings later, Judge took Eovaldi 429 feet over the Green Monster for his 46th home run of the season to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez got the Red Sox on the board in the fourth inning by driving in Alex Verdugo, who led off with a double, on a run-scoring single up the middle. That cut the deficit in half, but it was all they could get off Yankees starter Domingo German, who tossed six-one run innings.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, settled in by retiring nine of the final 12 batters he faced from the fourth inning on. He gave up a one-out single to old friend Andrew Benintendi in the sixth, but that was immediately negated when Jose Trevino popped into a force out at second base.

All told, Eovaldi finished with a final pitch count of 108 (70 strikes). The 32-year-old hurler induced a total of 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.4 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.15.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Barnes yielded a one-out single to D.J. LeMahieu and promptly plunked Judge, but he got out of that by punching out Rizzo and Josh Donaldson in back-to-back fashion.

From there, Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the eighth before Garrett Whitlock did the very same in the ninth to hold the Yankees at two runs. In the latter half of the inning, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs and matched up against All-Star closer Clay Holmes.

Holmes got a slumping Rafael Devers to ground out to short, but then issued back-to-back walks to Xander Bogaerts and Verdugo. Martinez then came through once again by driving in Bogaerts on another RBI single up the middle to knot things up at two runs apiece.

Verdugo, who advanced to third on the play, represented the potential winning run as Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled Holmes in favor of Wandy Abreu. The lefty fanned Eric Hosmer and then got Christian Arroyo to line out to send the game into extras.

Whitlock came back out for the 10th and stranded runners at second and third while striking out Donaldson and Gleyber Torres. Arroyo, having recorded the final out of the ninth, started the bottom of the 10th inning at second base. Jaylin Davis moved him up to third on a softly-hit groundout.

After Reese McGuire reached base on a bunt single, Pham delivered with the hit of the night: a walk-off single down the left field line off Lou Trivino that scored Arroyo from third. Comeback completed.

With the win, their second straight, the Red Sox improved to 56-58 on the season. They still trail the Orioles by four games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Crawford vs. Montas

The Red Sox will go for their second consecutive series win over an American League East opponent on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while former Red Sox pitching prospect Frankie Montas will do the same for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Tommy Pham: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect Johnfrank Salazar earns promotion to Low-A Salem after strong start to season in Florida Complex League

Red Sox infield prospect Johnfrank Salazar has reached base in five of his first 10 plate appearances with Low-A Salem since earning a promotion from the Florida Complex League on Tuesday.

In his first two games with Salem, Salazar has gone 2-for-7 (.286) at the plate with two singles, two walks, and three strikeouts. He has also been hit by a pitch.

At the time he was promoted earlier this week, the right-handed hitter had been batting a stout .327/.434/.446 with eight doubles, two triples, 16 RBIs, 21 runs scored, three stolen bases, 17 walks, and just nine strikeouts over 32 games (122 plate appearances) for Boston’s rookie-level affiliate in Fort Myers.

Among FCL hitters who have made at least 120 trips to the plate this season, Salazar ranks 20th in walk rate (13.9%), second in strikeout rate (7.4%), fifth in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, 13th in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.880), 22nd in speed score (7.3), and fourth in wRC+ (148), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Salazar’s first two starts at Low-A came at second and third base. In the FCL, the 6-foot-1, 159-pounder logged 83 1/3 innings at second, 114 2/3 innings at the hot corner, and 66 innings at shortstop. He exclusively played shortstop in the Dominican Summer League last year.

Salazar, who turned 19 last Friday, originally signed with the Red Sox for $400,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela in August 2019. The Barcelona native is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the 45th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier recently wrote that Salazar displayed “excellent plate discipline while delivering solid contact” during his time in the FCL. SoxProspects.com adds that he “needs to add significant strength,” but has also “shown some ability at the plate and a plus arm.”

It remains to be seen how well Salazar’s skillset will translate from the FCL to the Low-A level, as other prospects have struggled to make that jump in the past. Still, the success Salazar has enjoyed in the lower-minors to this point in the season is certainly noteworthy.

(Picture of Johnfrank Salazar: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Eric Hosmer comes through with game-winning RBI double as Red Sox end losing streak with 4-3 victory over Orioles

The Red Sox have done it. They have won a series against another American League East team.

Yes, it may have only been one game, but Thursday’s contest against the Orioles at Fenway Park counted as a series, according to The Elias Sports Bureau. Boston therefore clinched its first series win of the season against a divisional opponent with a 4-3 victory over Baltimore.

Matched up against Dean Kremer to begin things on Thursday, the Sox got off to a quick start. Right out of the gate, Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo went back-to-back on a pair of two-out doubles in the first inning. The two traded places to give their side an early 1-0 lead.

Two innings later, Jarren Duran led the bottom of the third off with a hard-hit single and promptly scored all the way from first base when Tommy Pham ripped an RBI double down the left field line. Pham moved up to third on a Rafael Devers sacrifice fly and scored from third on a Bogaerts sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 game in favor of Boston.

To that point in the contest, Josh Winckowski had been cruising right along. Making his 11th start of the season for the Sox, the rookie right-hander took his shutout bid into the sixth inning before running into some trouble.

After giving up a leadoff single to Cedric Mullins and issuing a five-pitch walk to Adley Rutschman, Winckowski recorded the first two outs of the inning. He then served up a two-run triple to Terrin Vavra, who proceeded to score from third base on an infield single off the bat of Austin Hays.

Winckowski attempted to field the 62.3 mph grounder, but struggled to get the ball out of his glove before making a late underhanded toss to first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hays was initially called out by first base umpire Mark Carlson, but the Orioles challenged the call on the field and it was overturned.

Hays proved to be the last batter Winckowski would face. The 24-year-old hurler wound up allowing three runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. He threw 93 pitches (63 strikes) and raised his ERA on the season to 4.69.

Austin Davis came on to record the final out of the sixth and did just that to keep the 3-3 stalemate intact going into the bottom half of the inning. Kremer got the first two outs rather quickly before issuing a seven-pitch walk to J.D. Martinez. He was then pulled in favor of Nick Vespi.

Hosmer greeted the new O’s reliever by driving in Martinez all the way from first on a 394-foot RBI double to deep center field. Hosmer’s second hit of the night allowed the Red Sox to jump back out to a 4-3 advantage.

From there, Matt Barnes struck out two and stranded one in the seventh before John Schreiber closed things out by recording the final six outs of the game to notch his fourth save of the year.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to 55-58 on the season. They currently trail the Rays by 4 1/2 games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Also of note, Bogaerts’ first-inning double was the 300th two-base hit of his career. He became the 11th player in Red Sox history to hit 300 doubles with the team, but only the second to do so before turning 30. Carl Yastrzemski first accomplished the feat in 1969.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. German

The Red Sox will now welcome the first-place Yankees into town for a three-game weekend series that begins Friday night. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start in the opener for Boston while fellow eight-hander Domingo German will do the same for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Bleis is currently ‘generating the most buzz’ in Boston’s farm system

It is no secret that Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Bleis is having a strong season down in the Florida Complex League.

Following a 1-for-4 showing in Thursday’s 4-1 win over the FCL Pirates in Bradenton, the right-handed hitting Bleis is now batting .301/.353/.542 with 14 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 27 RBIs, 28 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 45 strikeouts across 39 games (167 plate appearances) with Boston’s rookie-level affiliate.

Among qualified FCL hitters, Bleis ranks 11th in batting average, 33rd in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage, fifth in OPS (.895), third in isolated power (.242), first in extra-base hits (23), and fourth in stolen bases, per MiLB.com’s leaderboards.

On the other side of the ball, Bleis made his 36th start of the season in center field on Thursday. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder has logged 310 1/3 innings at the position while racking up five outfield assists. He also got his first taste of right field on Tuesday.

Still just 18 years old, Bleis originally signed with the Red Sox for $1.5 million as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic last January. The San Pedro de Macoris native opened the 2022 season as Boston’s 20th-ranked prospect but has since moved up to No. 6 in Baseball America’s latest rankings.

Earlier Thursday evening, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall tweeted that Bleis is “the prospect generating the most buzz in the Red Sox system right now,” citing that “his batted ball data is off the charts.”

“Multiple scouts have told me he’s easily the best player in the FCL and a true five-tool talent,” tweeted Cundall, who added that Bleis could start garnering top-100 prospect consideration as soon as this winter.

Bleis, who does not turn 19 until next March, is regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 5 prospect in the organization. The site best describes him as having “the highest upside of any Latin American prospect in the system.”

Taking into account how much success Bleis has enjoyed in his first professional season stateside, one would have to think the speedster could be on the verge of earning a late-season promotion to Low-A Salem. To say that would be exciting is an understatement.

(Picture of Miguel Bleis: Bryan Green/Flickr)

Red Sox explored possibility of acquiring Athletics catcher Sean Murphy before last week’s trade deadline, per report

Before the trade deadline passed last week, the Red Sox reportedly explored the possibility of trading for Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

This past Monday, Speier wrote that the Red Sox discussed “dealing prospects for players who would be under team control for the longer haul.” Murphy was among the players Boston targeted, though they ultimately could not find a match.

Murphy, 27, is under club control with the Athletics through the end of the 2025 campaign and emerged as one of baseball’s top catchers in recent years. Through 101 games this season, the right-handed hitting backstop has batted .242/.316/.424 with 26 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, 46 runs scored, one stolen base, 33 walks, and 88 strikeouts over 415 plate appearances.

From behind the plate, Murphy has thrown out 13 of a possible 43 base stealers. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder currently ranks fifth among all big-league catchers in fWAR (3.0), per FanGraphs. He is also well-regarded when it comes to pop time and framing.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the A’s are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and have traded away key players such as Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Frankie Montas, and Lou Trivino in recent months. The expectation seems to be that Murphy, who turns 28 in October, will be the next big-leaguer moved since Oakland’s top two prospects — Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom are both catchers.

Cotillo opines that Murphy will draw strong interest from catcher-needy clubs this winter. Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes reported last week that the Guardians were among the several teams interested in Murphy ahead of the trade deadline and could open up talks with the Athletics again this off-season.

That the Red Sox were in the market for a frontline catcher is certainly interesting when you consider that they just traded Christian Vazquez to the Astros for a pair of prospects in Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.

Even before trading away Vazquez, though, Boston was expected to bolster its catching depth this winter since both Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki are slated to become free-agents. Reese McGuire, who was acquired from the White Sox, is under club control through the 2025 but is more of a backup-type. The same can be said for prospects Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez, who are having solid seasons with Triple-A Worcester but remain unproven at the major-league level.

Murphy, who took home the Gold Glove Award for American League catchers last season, would represent quite the upgrade in that department. At the same time, it would likely take a package of top prospects and/or major-league-ready talent to pry Murphy away from Oakland since the former third-round pick is not eligible for free agency for another three years.

(Picture of Sean Murphy: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)