Rather than lose Jacob Turner for nothing on waivers after designating him for assignment the Marlins have traded the 23-year-old right-hander to the Cubs for a pair of non-prospect minor leaguers, according to Keith Law of ESPN.com.
Turner had an ugly 5.97 ERA in 78 innings for the Marlins this season, but he posted a 3.95 ERA in 30 starts between 2012 and 2013, ranked as a consensus top-50 prospect a couple years ago, and just turned 23 in May.
Miami’s decision to cut him loose was an odd one–especially since they might be calling up 36-year-old Brad Penny from Triple-A to take a roster spot soon–and the rebuilding Cubs taking a low-risk flier on Turner makes plenty of sense.
The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.