Red Sox’ decision to pick up Christian Vázquez’s 2022 team option was ‘not a no-brainer’, per report

The Red Sox may have exercised Christian Vazquez’s club option for the 2022 season back in November, but it apparently was not a simple decision for the team to make.

As part of the three-year, $13.35 million contract extension Vazquez signed with the Sox before the 2018 season, there was a team option attached for a potential fourth year in 2022.

The value of that option was dependent on the number of plate appearances Vazquez accrued during the 2020 and 2021 campaigns. Since he fell short of the threshold he needed to reach, the veteran catcher’s option for 2022 decreased from $8 million to $7 million.

Coming off a season in which he batted .258/.308/.352 with 23 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 49 RBIs, 51 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 33 walks, and 84 strikeouts over 138 games (498 plate appearances) while leading all big-league backstops in innings caught (1,051 1/3), the Red Sox were put in a position where they had to decide if they wanted Vazquez back for $7 million.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. ultimately decided on having Vazquez return for 2022, but that resolution may not have been reached unanimously within the organization.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, “sources indicate the decision to pick up Vázquez’s $7 million option was not a no-brainer, and that there was internal debate over whether he was worth that salary after a down year in 2021.”

The idea that Boston would decline Vazquez’s option and allow the 31-year-old to become a free agent can be backed up by a recent report from the Miami Herlad which states that the Red Sox made an offer “and at one point thought they had a deal” to acquire Gold Glove Catcher Jacob Stallings from the Pirates.

Stallings, who was dealt from the Marlins to the Pirates in late November, is slightly older than Vazquez as he turns 32 next week. He was also the best catcher in baseball this season when it comes to Defensive Runs Saved (21) and is under team control through the end of the 2024 season.

Because of the Sox’ reported interest in a controllable backstop such as Stallings, Cotillo writes that it would not be surprising if “the Red Sox make a surprising move to upgrade at catcher — and add a controllable player — sooner rather than later.”

At present, the Red Sox have four catchers on their 40-man roster between Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, and prospects like Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez.

Although Vazquez and Plawecki are seemingly locked in to begin 2022 as Boston’s top two catchers with Wong and Hernandez waiting in the wings at Triple-A Worcester, the expectation seems to be that Bloom and his staff are not done adding.

Once the Major League Baseball lockout ends and the transaction freeze is lifted, it appears as though the Red Sox will continue to explore upgrading at catcher. And while the free-agent market may be decimated in that department, the trade market certainly is not.

The Padres, as noted by Cotillo, also have four catchers on their 40-man roster in Jorge Alfaro, Luis Campusano, Victor Caratini, and Austin Nola. The Athletics, who are expected to tear down their roster once the lockout is lifted, represent another intriguing match since they could offer Sean Murphy.

Murphy, 27, won the Gold Glove Award for American League catchers this season and is not slated to hit free agency until after 2025. His asking price would presumably be high, but it could be something worth exploring for the Red Sox.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox add Taylor Motter to major-league roster, option Connor Wong to Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Indians at Fenway Park on Saturday, the Red Sox added infielder Taylor Motter to their major-league roster.

In a corresponding move, catcher Connor Wong was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Saturday afternoon.

Motter, who turns 32 in two weeks, was claimed off waivers from the Rockies this past Thursday after being designated for assignment by Colorado on August 30.

Appearing in 13 games for the Rockies, the 31-year-old went 3-for-20 (.150) at the plate with two runs scored, two walks, and six strikeouts while primarily being used off the bench as a pinch-hitter.

Prior to having his contract selected by Colorado last month, Motter had been raking at the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque this season, slashing an impressive .335/.460/.759 (186 wRC+) to go along with 16 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 57 RBI, and 54 runs scored over 67 games (265 plate appearances) with the Isotopes.

A former 17th-round draft pick of the Rays out of Coastal Carolina University in 2011, the Florida native has appeared in a total of 154 games between the Rays, Mariners, Twins, and Rockies since making his major-league debut in May 2016.

Over the course of those 154 games, Motter has seen the majority of his playing time come at shortstop, though he also has experience at first base, second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.

The Red Sox, at the moment, have now placed five position players — Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Yairo Munoez, and Jarren Duran — on the COVID-19 related injured list since last Friday, so they recently found themselves in need of experienced infield and outfield depth.

Motter, who hits from the right side of the plate and is listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, will look to provide his new club with that, as he will be on the bench to start things out on Saturday. He will wear the No. 30.

Wong, meanwhile, heads back down to Worcester less than 24 hours after getting called up to take Duran’s place on the major-league roster.

The 25-year-old backstop did not see any playing time in what is technically his sixth stint of the season with the Red Sox, though he has been on a tear at Triple-A as of late.

In the month of August alone, Wong — the top catching prospect in Boston’s farm system — posted a .372/.386/.651 slash line (174 wRC+) with three home runs and 11 RBI across 11 games (44 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

(Picture of Taylor Motter: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran tests positive for COVID-19

Jarren Duran has tested positive for COVID-19, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced following Friday night’s 8-5 win over the Indians at Fenway Park.

Leading up to Friday’s series opener, Duran had been penciled in to bat seventh and start in center field for the Sox, but the top prospect was scratched from Boston’s lineup a few hours before first pitch on account of exhibiting COVID-like symptoms.

Later placed on the COVID-19 related injured list so that catcher Connor Wong could be recalled from Triple-A Worcester, it turns out Duran has indeed tested positive for coronavirus.

“He’ll be out for a while,” Cora said Friday night in regards to the rookie outfielder.

Duran, who turns 25 on Sunday, becomes the ninth player the Red Sox have had to place on the COVID-related IL since last Friday as well as the eighth player to test positive.

Enrique Hernandez and Christian Arroyo tested positive for COVID-19 while the Sox were in Cleveland, and Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, Josh Taylor, Xander Bogaerts, and Yairo Munoz all tested positive while the team was in Tampa Bay.

On top of that, quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose have also returned positive results, while Josh Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin are quarantining since they were identified as close contacts.

Because he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Duran will be forced to quarantine for the next 10 days, meaning the soonest the speedster could return to action would be Monday September 13.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Duran will be able to come back after the minimum 10 days, or if he will require more time. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Jarren Duran on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Indians at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox placed outfielder Jarren Duran on the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, catcher Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Friday evening.

Duran, who turns 25 on Sunday, was originally slated to bat seventh and start in center field for the Sox in Friday’s series opener, but was later scratched on account of his feeling under the weather.

“Duran is not feeling well, so he’s going through with his testing,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said when speaking with reporters. “Obviously, he won’t be here with us today. We’ll know more hopefully later today or in the third inning, I guess, you know? We’ll know. But he doesn’t feel great, so we’ll go through the process.”

The speedy top prospect previously spent time on the COVID-19 related injured list when the Sox were in Toronto last month, but did not test positive for the virus. He was also optioned to Worcester last Tuesday, though he was quickly recalled when fellow outfielder Hunter Renfroe was placed on the bereavement list.

At the moment, it is not yet known if Duran has tested positive for coronavirus this time around. If that is the case, however, the 24-year-old would be forced into a mandatory quarantine that would keep him out of action for a minimum of 10 days.

Regardless, Duran becomes the ninth player the Red Sox have had to place on the COVID-related IL since last Friday, as he joins the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, Josh Taylor, Xander Bogaerts, and Yairo Munoz.

Hernandez, Arroyo, Perez, Barnes, Sawamura, Bogaerts, and Munoz — as well as quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose — have all tested positive, while Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin have been away from the team since they were identified as close contacts.

Wong, on the other hand, will join the Red Sox for the sixth time this season and for the first time since mid-August.

While up with Boston on several occasions this season, Wong has gone 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate with one triple, one RBI, three runs scored, one walk, and seven strikeouts over six games (14 plate appearances) dating back to June 22.

In a torrid month of August with the WooSox, the 25-year-old backstop slashed an impressive .372/.386/.651 (174 wRC+) to go along with three home runs and 11 RBI in 11 games spanning 44 trips to the plate.

Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Wong becomes the third catcher on the Red Sox’ 28-man major-league roster behind Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox add Travis Shaw to major-league roster, option Franchy Cordero and Connor Wong to Triple-A Worcester, release Marwin Gonzalez

Ahead of their three-game series against the Yankees that begins in the Bronx on Tuesday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves during their day off on Monday.

First off, infielder Travis Shaw was added to Boston’s major-league roster, while both outfielder Franchy Cordero and catcher Connor Wong were optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, utility man Marwin Gonzalez was released after he was designated for assignment on Friday, the club announced earlier Monday night.

Shaw was claimed off outright waivers by the Sox from the Brewers on Sunday and was promptly added to Boston’s 40-man roster since they had an open spot after placing left-handed reliever Josh Taylor on the COVID-19 related injured list that same day.

The Red Sox originally selected Shaw in the ninth round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Kent State University, and the left-handed hitter spent the first two seasons of his major-league career (2015-2016) with Boston before being traded to Milwaukee in December 2016.

After bouncing around between the Brewers, Blue Jays, and Brewers again, Shaw was ultimately placed on outright waivers by Milwaukee this past weekend.

The left-handed hitter had slashed .191/.279/.337 with eight doubles, six home runs, 28 RBI, 14 runs scored, 19 walks, and 51 strikeouts across 56 games (202 plate appearances) with the Brewers this season prior to dislocating his left shoulder in early June.

Sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on July 27, Shaw hit .273/.415/.485 with two home runs and eight RBI over 11 games (41 plate appearances) with the Sounds before losing his spot on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.

In claiming the 31-year-old off waivers, the Red Sox add another left-handed power bat to the mix that has proven capable of playing first base, second base, and third base over the course of his big-league career.

“He’s a good kid, he’s a good guy,” Sox manager Alex Cora said of Shaw on Sunday. “We’re going to use him the right way. I think he gives us more weapons to maneuver over nine innings. We can pinch-hit, we can platoon, we can do a lot of things with him. Looking forward to seeing him and start working with him.”

A noted fan of former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, Shaw — a native of Ohio — will don the No. 23 in his second stint with the Red Sox.

In order to make room for Shaw on the major-league roster, Boston only had to send down one player, but instead optioned two in Cordero and Wong.

Cordero, who was recalled from Worcester on July 22, appeared in 13 games during his second stint of the season with the Sox. Over the course of those 13 games in which he made starts at first base and in left field, the 26-year-old went 7-for-32 (.219) at the plate with seven singles, three runs scored, two walks, and 14 strikeouts.

Wong, meanwhile, was recalled from the WooSox on Sunday as part of the same series of moves that saw Taylor head to the COVID-19 related injured list.

The fact that Boston optioned the 25-year-old backstop back down to Worcester — and thus trimmed down their big-league roster to 25 players for the time being — would seem to indicate that they are hopeful that Taylor will be cleared to return to action on Tuesday, though that is no sure thing.

If Taylor were to be activated before Tuesday’s doubleheader, though, the Red Sox would need to clear a 40-man roster spot in order for him to be added back to the major-league squad.

In addition to the possibility of Boston getting Taylor back this week, they will also be adding right-hander Tanner Houck as the 27th man for Tuesday’s twin bill at Yankee Stadium.

Though Cora has yet to officially name starters for the upcoming doubleheader, the expectation seems to be that Houck will start one game while fellow righty Nathan Eovaldi will start the other.

Finally, we arrive at Gonzalez, who was released three days after being designated for assignment on Friday — at the same time Kyle Schwarber was activated from the injured list.

The versatile 32-year-old initially signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Sox back in late February, but never really found his footing at the plate with his new club.

Despite providing value as a switch-hitter who could play multiple defensive positions, Gonzalez hit just .202/.281/.285 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 77 games (271 plate appearances) with Boston prior to losing his roster spot.

(Picture of Travis Shaw: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Josh Taylor on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their three-game weekend series against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Sunday, the Red Sox placed left-handed reliever Josh Taylor on the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, catcher Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday afternoon.

Taylor has proven to be one of the more consistent relievers out of the Boston bullpen this season, posting a 3.23 ERA and 2.93 FIP to go along with 51 strikeouts and 20 walks over 48 appearances spanning 39 total innings of work.

At the moment, it’s unclear if the 28-year-old has tested positive for COVID-19 or if he is just experiencing COVID-like symptoms, as has been the case with several Red Sox players (Matt Barnes, Jarren Duran, J.D. Martinez) within the last few weeks.

Taylor did, however, test positive for the virus at the onset of summer camp last year and — in addition to being forced to quarantine at a Boston hotel — opened the truncated 2020 campaign on the COVID-related IL. He did not make his season debut until August 17 as a result of all that.

If the lefty does indeed test negative for COVID-19, he could be activated as soon as Tuesday ahead of an important doubleheader against the Yankees in the Bronx.

If Taylor’s PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test comes back positive, though, he would be placed into a mandatory 10-day quarantine, which would result in the Red Sox triggering additional virus-related protocols.

Wong, meanwhile, returns to the Sox just one day after he was sent down to Worcester at the same time fellow catcher Christian Vazquez was activated from the bereavement list.

In six games spanning four separate stints with Boston, the 25-year-old rookie has gone 4-for-13 (.308) with one double, one triple, one RBI, three runs scored, one walk, and seven strikeouts over 14 total plate appearances.

It’s likely Wong will be available off the bench for the Red Sox in Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles.

(Picture of Josh Taylor: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Chris Sale, Christian Vázquez activated; Yacksel Rios, Connor Wong optioned to Triple-A Worcester

The first Sale Day of 2021 has finally arrived.

Before taking on the Orioles in the second game of their three-game weekend series at Fenway Park on Saturday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, ace left-hander Chris Sale was returned from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester and activated from the 60-day injured list, while catcher Christian Vazquez was activated from the bereavement list.

Secondly, in order to make room for both Sale and Vazquez on Boston’s major-league roster, both right-hander Yacksel Rios and catcher Connor Wong were optioned to Worcester, the club announced earlier Saturday afternoon.

Sale will make his first start for the Red Sox in just over two years in Saturday’s contest against the Orioles as he makes his highly-anticipated return from Tommy John surgery.

After starting the 2021 season on the 60-day injured list on account of the fact that he was still recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last March (on his 31st birthday), Sale was first sent out on a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox in mid-July.

In five rehab outings between the FCL Red Sox, Double-A Portland, and Triple-A Worcester from July 15 through August 7, the 32-year-old hurler posted a 1.35 ERA and 1.59 FIP to go along with 35 strikeouts to just five walks over 20 total innings of work.

Because Saturday will mark Sale’s first major-league appearance in approximately 732 days, the Sox will surely look to manage the seven-time All-Star’s workload effectively so that he does not overexert himself and remains in line to make his next start against the Rangers this coming Friday.

By activating Sale from the 60-day injured list, the Red Sox were able to utilize the open spot on their 40-man roster that was created on Friday when utility man Marwin Gonzalez was designated for assignment at the same time Kyle Schwarber was activated from the 10-day IL.

Catching Sale in his season debut will be Vazquez, who makes his return to Boston’s lineup after missing three days of action while on the bereavement list.

Vazquez, who will hit out of the eight-hole on Saturday, has caught Sale on 17 previous occasions. The veteran lefty has put up a 4.61 ERA and .763 OPS against over 84 innings pitched while the 30-year-old backstop out of Puerto Rico was calling the shots behind the plate.

With both Sale and Vazquez being activated, Rios and Wong wound up getting sent down to the WooSox.

Rios, acquired from the Mariners in exchange for cash considerations on June 14, pitched to the tune of a 3.70 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 14 walks across 20 relief appearances (24 1/3 innings pitched) in his first stint with the Sox.

Wong, meanwhile, heads back to Worcester after being called up in place of Vazquez this past Wednesday.

The 25-year-old catching prospect appeared as a defensive replacement for Kevin Plawecki in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 20-8 rout of the Rays, and he made his lone at-bat count by recording his first career triple and RBI in the blowout victory.

Through six games spanning four separate stints with the Red Sox now, Wong has gone 4-for-13 (.308) with one double, one triple, one RBI, three runs scored, one walk, and seven strikeouts over 14 total plate appearances.

While it’s likely both Rios and Wong will be up with the big-league club once more before season’s end, the Red Sox will be taking on the Orioles without them on Saturday afternoon.

Sale, again, will be getting the ball for Boston, while right-hander Jorge Lopez will be doing the same for Baltimore.

Here is how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Sale:

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Chris Sale and Christian Vazquez: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Red Sox place Christian Vázquez on bereavement list, recall Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Rays at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, the Red Sox placed catcher Christian Vazquez on the bereavement list.

In a corresponding move, fellow catcher Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester to take Vazquez’s place on the major-league roster, the club announced.

Per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “it’s unclear how much time Vázquez will miss” on account of the fact that “the announcement was made approximately an hour before Wednesday’s game.”

Vazquez was not in Boston’s starting lineup for Wednesday’s contest against the Rays, as Kevin Plawecki will catch right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and bat out of the six-hole.

Plawecki has been hot at the plate as of late. The 30-year-old backstop is slashing a sizzling .448/.500/.552 over his last 10 games (eight starts) and 32 plate appearances dating back to July 24.

Wong, meanwhile, is back up with the Red Sox for a fourth time this season after previously being used as a COVID fill-in over the weekend in Toronto.

Across his three prior stints with the big-league club, the 25-year-old rookie has gone 3-for-12 at the plate (.250) with one double, two runs scored, one walk, and seven strikeouts over five games, three of which were starts.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox surprisingly option Tanner Houck to Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their four-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Thursday, the Red Sox announced they optioned right-hander Tanner Houck following the conclusion of Wednesday night’s doubleheader.

Houck got the start for the Sox in Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Jays and was stellar in the club’s 4-1 victory, surrendering just one run on two hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts over four strong innings of work.

Prior to the start of Wednesday’s twin bill, Boston recalled catcher Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester to serve as the team’s 27th man for both games with Toronto. Wong, however, did not appear in either contest, making it seem as though he would be the one to return to Worcester seeing how he is the third backstop on the major-league roster.

Instead, in a surprising turn of events, Boston opted to send Houck down to the WooSox while keeping Wong up with the big-league club for the time being.

According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the decision to option Houck has more to do with roster flexibility as apposed to a demotion or anything like that, as the right-hander will pitch during next Saturday’s (August 7) doubleheader against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

“It’s about roster flexibility,” Cora said Thursday afternoon. “Tanner’s going to pitch in the doubleheader on Saturday in Toronto. We’ve got an off day on Monday (August 2), so for now it makes sense to go somewhere else. But, as you guys know, he’s going to be a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish — he’s a big part of it already. So, it just happens that roster-wise right now, in the upcoming days, this is where we’re going.”

Since making his major-league debut for the Sox last September, Houck has posted a dazzling 1.62 ERA and 2.38 FIP to go along with 51 strikeouts to just 14 walks over nine total appearances (seven starts) spanning 39 innings pitched.

After opening the 2021 campaign in Boston’s starting rotation, the 25-year-old hurler was optioned to Worcester in late April and wound up getting shut down for approximately six weeks beginning in early May after experiencing flexor muscle soreness in his throwing arm.

After making his return to the WooSox’ rotation on June 17, Houck was called back up by the Red Sox on July 16 to serve in a hybrid role where he could start and pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen when needed.

The former first-round pick twirled three scoreless frames of relief against the Yankees in the Bronx the very same day he was recalled to notch his first career save and has made two starts since then.

Barring an injury on the major-league front, it seems likely that Houck will make one start for Worcester before getting called up once again next Saturday.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, will seemingly role with a five-man starting rotation that consists of Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Martin Perez.

Rodriguez will be making his 20th start of the season for Boston opposite fellow southpaw Hyun Jin Ryu in Thursday’s series finale against Torornto.

First pitch (weather permitting) is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester to serve as 27th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against Blue Jays

The Red Sox have called up catcher Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester to serve as their 27th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, the team announced earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Wong will serve as catching depth behind Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki for both of Boston’s games against Toronto, though it seems more likely that he could be used off the bench as a pinch-runner if needed.

Wednesday’s twin bill will mark Wong’s second big-league stint of the season with the Sox, as the 25-year-old made his major-league debut back on June 22 and spent a little over two weeks with the club before being optioned back to Worcester on July 8.

Appearing in four games over that span, Wong — who is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 catching prospect in Boston’s farm system — went 3-for-11 (.273) at the plate with one double, two runs scored, and seven strikeouts in place of an injured Plawecki.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Wong “will likely be sent back to the WooSox on Thursday.”

Wong will start the first installment of Wednesday’s doubleheader on the bench for the Red Sox, with Vazquez getting the start behind the plate and Plawecki serving as the club’s designated hitter.

Garrett Richards, meanwhile, will make his 20th start of the season for Boston. He will be opposed by veteran lefty Robbie Ray, who will be doing the same for Toronto.

First pitch of Game 1 Wednesday is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Game 2 will follow at approximately 7:10 p.m.

(Picture of Connor Wong: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)