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The Boston Red Sox have traded 2016 second-round draft pick C.J. Chatham to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.
The second baseman/shortstop was on Boston’s 40-man roster. So sending him to the Phillies clears a roster spot. The 40-man roster is down to 39 players, but the Red Sox will soon add starting pitcher Martin Perez who they re-signed to a one-year, $5-million contract Friday.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum named Chatham the best pure hitter in Boston’s farm system back in April. But extra-base power was always a concern. The 26-year-old is listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, but he slugged just .402 in 266 minor league games.
Chatham spent this past summer at Boston’s alternate training site in Pawtucket. It was somewhat surprising Chatham did not make his major league debut in 2020 despite Boston not contending, using 20 different position players and receiving little production from the second base position.
Chatham batted .298 with a .333 on-base percentage, .408 slugging percentage, .741 OPS, 31 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 46 RBIs in 110 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket during 2019.
He has a .298/.337/.402/.739 line with just 14 home runs, 57 doubles, four triples and 124 RBIs in 1,106 minor league plate appearances across four seasons.
Baseball America wrote in its 2020 Prospect Handbook, “Chatham is likely at least a big league reserve. Some feel he could offer a credible everyday option, most likely at second base, if he adds offensive impact.” BA also mentioned in his scouting report, “While Chatham gets the bat to the ball, he does so by spraying the ball to all fields rather than slugging. His aggressive approach caps his on-base abilities and limits his power.”