The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today they have acquired catcher Blake Swihart and international bonus pool money for the 2018-19 signing period from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor-league outfielder Marcus Wilson.
Welcome to Arizona, @BLAKESWIHART_1.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 19, 2019
The #Dbacks have acquired the 27-year-old + international bonus pool money for the 2018-19 signing period from the Red Sox for outfielder Marcus Wilson. pic.twitter.com/pm26CkfUJX
This trade almost makes too much sense, as the Red Sox and Diamondbacks have several ties with each other and have been involved in more than their fair share of transactions together in the past few years. In fact, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was a bench coach in Boston from 2013 to 2016 (and filled in as interim manager in 2015) and Arizona’s general manager Mike Hazen was the general manager and assistant general manager in Boston at times from 2012 to 2015.
Swihart, a 27-year old who came up as a catcher but has recently explored other positions, had been designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Tuesday when the team decided to promote Sandy Leon.
Through 12 games this season, Swihart knocked six hits over the course of 26 at-bats, slashing .231/.310/.385 four runs batted in and a homer. Throughout his career, Swihart has appeared at catcher, designated hitter, all of the infield positions, left field, and right field, leaving center field and pitcher the only positions he has yet to try out.
The Diamondbacks are already carrying four catchers on their 40-man roster, so it is likely that they view Swihart more as a utility player who can serve as a catcher in emergencies and nights when the other catchers are short on rest.
Swihart was a first-round selection of the Red Sox in 2011 and made his way through all levels of the minors before making his major-league debut in 2015, since when he has appeared in 203 big-league games and won a World Series ring (2018).
Wilson, 22, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school in the second round of the 2014 MLB draft. Since then, he made his way through rookie- and A-ball before cracking the Double-A level to begin the 2019 season. In 2018, at High-A Visalia, Wilson slashed .235/.309/.369 with 48 runs knocked in on 105 hits, including 10 homers. He walked 44 times while striking out 141.
Through 12 games in Jackson this season, Wilson, who was listed in the 20th slot on MLB Pipeline’s list of top Diamondbacks prospects, produced a 34 at-bat sample size, slashing .235/.350/.529 and knocking eight hits, including two doubles, two homers, and a triple, while plating seven runs. He also recorded 13 strikeouts and five walks.
While Swihart will report to the major-league club in Arizona, Wilson will head to the same level he was with in the Dbacks’ organization as he reports to the Double-A level with the Portland Sea Dogs.