This is very much an end of Spring Training move as these are both former 1st round picks that are running out of time to become full time major leaguers. One of the main differences between the two is that Reese McGuire is out of options and Zack Collins is not. This allows the Blue Jays to stash Collins at AAA, which they could not do with McGuire.
What’d the Sox give up?
By now, you’re pretty familiar with Collins. He’s a bat first C/1B that has not shown much with the bat in his time in the MLB. In 351 PA, he’s had a slash of .195/.315/.330. Can he figure it out and become the hitter the Sox thought they were drafting in the first round in 2016? Possibly, but not likely. In the meantime, I assume the Jays will plant him at AAA and try to fix him.
For purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on what he brings on the field. And that is defense. According to Fangraphs, he was worth 2 defensive runs saved last year. Meaning that across his 523 innings, he was worth 2 runs to his team compared against the average catcher. In 506 innings last year, Zack Collins was worth -18. As a hitter, not so great. In 400 PA, he’s had a slash of .248/.297/.390.
What does this do to the roster?
Since Nick Ciuffo has minor league options, we can be pretty sure he’s gonna be at Charlotte. Since the Sox made this move the week the season is starting, I think we can assume McGuire will back up Yasmani Grandal. That leaves a question around Seby Zavala. He is out of options, so he cannot be sent to AAA without first clearing waivers. The Sox could carry 3 catchers, but that would push Micker Adolfo off the roster. I’d be surprised if the Sox felt Adolfo would be more likely to clear waivers than Seby.
Overall, it’s a relatively minor move, but could improve the club and take a little pressure off of Grandal from catching every day and instead DH a little more. We’ll see how they use them.