On Saturday, the Red Sox came to terms on an extension with one of their younger starters -- but it wasn't with any of the above. Rather, it was with catcher Christian Vazquez:
The Red Sox have signed catcher Christian Vázquez to a three-year contract extension through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) March 24, 2018
Terms of contract... Christian Vazquez will earn $2.85 million in 2019, $4.2 million in 2020, $6.25 million in 2021 with a club option in 2022 for $7 million ($250K buyout).— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) March 24, 2018
To state the obvious: Vazquez's extension is about cost certainty. He's guaranteed more than $13 million, and the Red Sox have a solid figure to put in their ledgers as they prepare for their youngsters to receive increased pay. The added bonus on the team side is that the Red Sox can now control Vazquez for one additional season, should they so choose to do so.
Vazquez, set to enter his age-27 season, is coming off a career year. He hit .290/.330/.404 over 99 games, each mark registering as a new personal-high. The real draw with Vazquez is his glove -- he didn't get the nickname "Mini Yadi" because of his stick. Advanced metrics support the notion that he's an above-average defender, as he's nailed more than 40 percent of attempted basestealers for his career. He also earned more than 10 runs with his framing last season, according to Baseball Prospectus.
On the whole, this is a fine enough deal. The sum is a fortune to him and a pittance to the Red Sox, who can still justify using him as a backup should he fail to maintain his offensive gains.