Considering that Tommy Pham hit for a lousy .234 batting average with only 6 HR and 67 strikeouts in only 234 at-bats, it’s pretty safe to say he won’t be returning to the Boston Red Sox for 2023. He had a $12 million mutual option, with a $1.5 million buyout. Considering he was even worse for the Sox than he was early in 2022 for the Reds, that’s going to be an extremely easy decision for the Boston front office.
It’s a shame, really, because Pham was a pretty good player at one time. Some of that time came with the Red Sox division rival Tampa Bay Rays. Pham joined the Rays to close out the 2018 season and played with them for the entire 2019 season. Upon moving onto San Diego, Pham just was never the same with the bat. That trade unfortunately hasn’t worked in Tampa’s favor, as the Padres got the excellent Jake Cronenworth in that deal and Tampa only got a bad year from Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards isn’t panning out in the minors.
Hilariously, Renfroe went to the Red Sox the next year (the Rays lost him for jack all) and for some reason Boston thought it was an awesome idea to trade him for Jackie Bradley, Jr, he of the -0.5 Baseball-Reference WAR… fortunately, the Sox also got one of the speediest men alive in David Hamilton and Alex Binelas looks like a promising corner bat.
For Pham, the Sox only gave up corner infielder Nicholas Northcut, who can’t hit at all for average but displays great power potential. The Reds need all the power potential they can get these days as a team that doesn’t seem to know what direction to go. With the Reds, despite being brutal with the bat, he did hit 11 HR, stole 7 bases (only caught stealing twice) and played slightly above average defense (3 DRS in 83 games). With the Sox, he hit worse, stole only one base against one caught stealing, and was worth negative 3 DRS in only 51 games.
So, chalk up Tommy Pham as a potential “lightning in a bottle” trade acquisition that didn’t work out. Now the Sox are only out a few million bucks, but that playing time could’ve gone to someone else in what really was already a lost year at that point! Yet another Chaim Bloom acquisition chasing a guy from his Tampa Bay days; he already got Renfroe and screwed that up! Please, David Hamilton steal 100 bases in a Red Sox uniform soon!