Monday, January 30, 2023

Topps Now: August 1 and August 12, 2022

Two for the price of one today.

August 2, 2022 was the trading deadline, and Boston had a strange day.  The Red Sox traded away one of my favorite players, Christian Vazquez, for prospects.  That is an understandable move as Vazquez was coming up for free agency and Boston was going nowhere.  The prospects look pretty good too.  Then they traded Nebraska native Jake Diekman to the White Sox for Reese McGuire, which is fine, but more of a lateral move and just served to have a warm body behind the plate after trading away the starting catcher.  McGuire was pretty good for the Red Sox in 2022 though.  Then, they traded Nick Northcut to the Reds for Tommy Pham, shown above.  Which is odd, since he is an upgrade, when they traded away their starting catcher.  Then, they traded stalled pitching prospect Jay Groome to the Padres for Eric Hosmer and two prospects.  But, they did not trade Nathan Eovaldi or J.D. Martinez.  So it was an odd trading deadline for the Red Sox.

So, this will be a Tommy Pham post.  Pham was Boston's biggest trade deadline acquisition, and I have to say, I became a big fan immediately.  He did not take long to make an impact in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.  On August 12, Boston got six strong innings from Eovaldi, but were losing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning.  With one out and two runners on base, Martinez singled to tie the game.  The game went to extra innings and Pham came to the plate with two runners on in the tenth and promptly singled down the left field line off Lou Trivino to walk it off for Boston.  It was his only hit of the day, but it was a big one.

In 53 games with the Red Sox, Pham ended up hitting .234/.298/.374 with six home runs and 24 RBIs.  Those are not great numbers, but he played with an intensity that the team seemed to be lacking in 2022.  He was a fun player to watch.  Unfortunately, he will not be back in Boston in 2023.  So, he will go down as a One-Year Wonder.  I will get to the 2022 One-Year Wonders later and determine if any of them will challenge my earlier picks for best at their positions.  There are some interesting debates.  One could be a big one, but I am still waiting to see where he lands.

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