HOUSTON — Christian Vázquez had many memorable moments in a Red Sox uniform. His final minutes wearing that jersey will likely rank right up there among the most surreal.

Vázquez wasn’t just traded from the only organization he has ever known Monday night. He was traded, minutes before a game, to the team the Red Sox are playing, the Astros. And while he’s not in uniform for Houston for the series opener between the clubs at Minute Maid Park, he still found himself in an unusual state of limbo as first pitch approached.

As word broke around 6:27 p.m. that the Astros and Red Sox were finalizing a trade involving Vázquez, the catcher took batting practice with the team as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. As reporters lined the Sox’s dugout hoping to talk to Vázquez as he came off the field, he took a moment with fellow catcher Kevin Plawecki, then trotted out to shortstop to hang out with Xander Bogaerts, who was taking ground balls.

Around 6:40 p.m., after being consoled by Matt Barnes, Vázquez exited the field and spoke briefly to reporters — looking stunned, he said he thought the news was true and noted that that baseball was a business — before Red Sox PR officials abruptly ended his session by pulling him away from reporters.

He was scratched from Boston’s lineup six minutes before first pitch and the Red Sox announced the deal at 8:12 p.m., two minutes after the game against the Astros started.

The surreal scene was hard for teammates like J.D. Martinez to process, especially considering that Vázquez will likely suit up against the Red Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday.


“We were like, damn, we sat through all our meetings and he just heard all our hitters meetings and he’s going over there to catch against us,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he was hitting in the cage in the bowels of Minute Maid Park when he first heard the news. He said it was a “weird feeling” watching Vázquez, his teammate of five seasons, be traded in real time to the opponent across the way. Similar situations are unusual but not unheard of; Doug Mientkiewicz joined the Red Sox from the Twins at the 2004 deadline while Boston was playing in Minnesota. Just last week, the Royals traded former Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Yankees before a four-game series between the teams in New York.

It’s unclear where Vázquez is watching Monday’s game. He’s not in the Red Sox dugout because he’s not a member of the team. He did not appear in the tunnel outside the clubhouse in the hour before the game.

There’s nothing stopping Vázquez from being in Houston’s lineup Tuesday night.

“It’s crazy. It’s a fun time to be a fan. Kind of mixed feelings if you’re a player,” Martinez said. “But it has been great playing with him. He has been an unbelievable teammate. Probably one of my favorite teammates I’ve played with. He’s a great all-around person in general.”

The Red Sox got minor league infielder Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu from Houston.


Valdez, 23, hit .296 with 10 homers and 32 RBI in 38 games for Triple-A Sugar Land this season. The 23-year-old Abreu batted .249 with 15 homers, 54 RBI and 23 steals in 89 games for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Vázquez was the longest tenured member of the Red Sox, having been drafted in 2008 out of Puerto Rico and spending eight seasons in the majors, including being the starting catcher as they won the 2018 World Series.

The 31-year-old Vázquez – a beloved member of the Red Sox clubhouse – was having a terrific 2022 season, slashing .282/.327/.432 with a .759 OPS, eight homers and 42 RBI while playing his usual standout defense and game-calling behind the plate.

BOSTON IS is finalizing a trade with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire outfielder Tommy Pham, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Pham has started 82 games in left field for the Reds this season. He helps add depth to a Red Sox outfield that has lacked offensive production the entire season.

Pham, a 34-year-old right-handed hitter, has batted only .238 with a .320 on-base percentage, .374 slugging percentage, .694 OPS, 11 homers, 11 doubles, one triple, 57 runs and 39 RBI in 91 games (387 plate appearances) this season.


He has 467 career starts in left field, 185 career starts in center field and 47 career starts in right field.

THE WHITE SOX acquired left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash.

The 35-year-old Diekman is 5-1 with a 4.23 ERA in 44 appearances this season. The 6-foot-4 Diekman is particularly tough on left-handed batters, holding them to a .188 batting average this year.

The White Sox are trying to make it back to the playoffs for the third straight season after winning the AL Central in 2021.

The addition of Diekman puts a second lefty in Manager Tony La Russa’s bullpen, joining rookie Tanner Banks. The White Sox also have Aaron Bummer, but he is on the injured list with a strained left lat.

Diekman’s contract calls for $3.5 million salaries this year and next, and it includes a $4 million team option for 2024 with a $1 million buyout.


The 27-year-old McGuire batted .225 with 10 RBI in 53 games with Chicago. He was acquired in a trade with Toronto in April.

McGuire became expendable for the White Sox when Yasmani Grandal returned after being sidelined by lower back spasms. McGuire also was outplayed by catcher Seby Zavala, who was batting .296 with two homers in 30 games heading into Monday night’s series opener against Kansas City.

THE RED SOX recalled catcher Ronaldo Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester and reinstated left-hander pitcher Rich Hill from the 15-day IL.

Hernandez, who traveled to Houston as a member of the taxi squad, was active as the backup catcher behind Kevin Plawecki. Hill, who has been out since early July with a left knee sprain, will take Diekman’s roster spot.

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