Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom on Wednesday traded for two prospects he has familiarity with, acquiring catcher Ronaldo Hernández and infielder Nick Sogard from the Rays in exchange for righty Chris Mazza and lefty Jeffrey Springs.
Hernández is the most noteworthy piece of this acquisition, given that he was ranked No. 12 among Rays prospects by MLB Pipeline and was once in MLB's Top 100 prospects.
Hernández gives the Red Sox organizational depth at a position of need, and he is now one of three catchers on the 40-man roster.
Kevin Plawecki, Boston's backup catcher, was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on Wednesday and will return to the 40-man roster once he is cleared.
Red Sox pitchers and catchers have their first workout of Spring Training on Thursday.
The right-handed-hitting Hernández, who is 23 years old and hails from Colombia, has power and a strong throwing arm. He smashed 21 homers and had an .832 OPS in 2018 while playing for Class A Bowling Green.
Hernández's numbers slipped in 2019 when he moved to Class A Advanced in Charlotte, as he had nine homers and a .696 OPS.
There was no Minor League season in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In 333 career games in the Minors, Hernández has hit .293 (373-for-1,271) with 41 home runs and an .802 OPS. In 253 games behind the plate, he has thrown out 120 of 260 (46.2%) runners attempting to steal.
The Red Sox hope that in the short term, Hernández can join Connor Wong as catchers who can take on elevated responsibility if Christian Vázquez or Plawecki suffers an injury. Wong is one of the players Boston acquired for Mookie Betts and David Price last February.
In the long term, the hope is that Hernández regains the status he once had as a top prospect.
With plenty of catching depth in their system, the Rays felt they could move Hernández.
Bloom, who was in the Rays' front office from 2005-19, was part of the decision-making process when Tampa Bay signed Hernández out of Colombia in 2014 and selected Sogard in the 12th round of the '19 Draft.
In Sogard's lone Minor League season in 2019, he had a .405 OBP while stealing 20 bases with the Hudson Valley Renegades at Class A Short-Season. He plays second base, shortstop and third. Sogard is the cousin of 10-year MLB veteran Eric Sogard.
This was just the latest in a series of moves Bloom has made over the last year to deepen Boston's farm system.
To get Hernández and Sogard, the Red Sox traded two depth arms in Mazza and Springs who didn't seem to fit in the team's plans for 2021.