Blake Swihart- Catcher, Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart has not lived up to expectations in Bean Town. Following a successful debut during the 2015 season, Swihart has struggled to get on the field. The former highly touted prospect has recently made it clear that he wants out of Boston and the Minnesota Twins should show interest.
The Twins are not in a position where they absolutely must trade for a catcher to cover for the loss of Jason Castro. Mitch Garver is a young up-and-coming backstop who deserves a chance to show what he can do. Minnesota also has Bobby Wilson who is a serviceable backup catcher so there is no need to panic.
However, Garver hasn’t shown very promise defensively during his brief time in the Majors. Castro won’t be coming back during the 2018 season. If Garver is unable to handle the position adequately there aren’t many options for Minnesota to turn to within their Minor League system.
Why Swihart makes sense for the Twins
The cost for Swihart should be a lot less than J.T. Realmuto, especially with his lack of production. Not long ago, Swihart had a bright future in MLB. However, that was then and this is now, and Minnesota should pounce while the price is at its lowest.
Swihart has played in only 40 games for the Red Sox since the 2015 season. He has only 65 innings behind the plate during the last three seasons so the question remains whether he’s still a viable option behind the dish. However, if the price is right, Swihart is worth taking a chance on.
A change of scenery is sometimes all a player needs to be able to put things together. Swihart has struggled with the bat in the Majors and the Minors during the last few seasons. However, he was an on-base machine early in his Minor League career.
Swihart had a .300 or higher on-base percentage in the Minors each season from 2012-14. He has never hit for a lot of power, but he was known for his offensive prowess early in his career.
However, he has done little offensively to inspire any confidence during the last two-plus seasons. He has a .219/.327/.292 slash line during 113 plate appearances since the start of the 2016 season. He has shown virtually no signs of being more than he already is, however, maybe he only needs an opportunity?
Does Swihart fit with Minnesota?
Honestly, trading for Swihart will do more harm than good or the Minnesota Twins. Garver is at a point in his development where he needs time behind the plate to refine his skills. Swihart has already proved he is not complacent with a part-time role so there’s a possibility he could disrupt the chemistry within the clubhouse.
That being said, let’s take a look at a true position of need for the Twins. The next three players on this list will all be from the Twins biggest position of need, relief pitchers.