Christian Vazquez just made himself some money


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It's always one of the most bizarre aspects of baseball - how one or two weeks can change how really smart people view a player.

Welcome to Major League Baseball's postseason.

Wednesday night, it was Christian Vazquez's turn to take advantage of the somewhat warped reputation-building that comes with performing on the game's biggest stage.

The former Red Sox catcher became the second player in major league history to catch a no-hitter, with the feat in Game 4 made even more impressive because he was forced to guide four different hurlers through the event.

It is undeniable the majority of kudos should go to the likes of Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly. But the management of all four hurlers didn't go unnoticed, and neither did the manager - Vazquez.

"Christian Vazquez called a great game for him," said Houston manager Dusty Baker when talking about the tone-setting starting pitcher, Javier.

"Vazquez today specifically he stayed on top of me, continued to motivate me throughout the game, and called a great game, and gave me really good positive energy, and I think that's one of the reasons why we got the results we did today," Javier noted.

Home runs and offensive hot streaks are nice. As are light's out pitching performances. But being singled out in the manner Vazquez did after the Astros' 5-0 win can have the same kind of impact heading into the world of free agency.

There is money to made with memorable postseason achievements. That's a fact.

Vazquez was going to get some sort of multi-year deal this offseason, although prior to the last few weeks it wasn't most likely what he was hoping for heading into 2022. Since leaving the Red Sox on Aug. 2, the catcher had been used a part-time player, appearing in 35 games. And wearing a Houston uniform, his output wasn't all that memorable when he played, finishing that regular season stint with the Astros with a .585 OPS and just one home run.

And up until Wednesday, it wasn't as if Vazquez's value had changed significantly. Case in point, Game 4 was just his second start of the entire postseason.

Sure, some teams would still be valuing Vazquez this offseason, with the backstop living with slightly above-average defensive metics (framing, pop-time, etc.) and 84 games with Red Sox that allowed for a respectable .759 OPS. But it wasn't as if Vazquez's brand was heating up heading into the offseason.

Then came the no-hitter. All the good that Vazquez can offer was put on display while bobbing and weaving the Astros through the Phillies' lineup. And when his manager and teammates single those things out, then it is the cherry on top.

Then comes a second look: Houston pitchers have allowed one run in the 33 innings Vazquez has caught this postseason.

So, the smart people who follow baseball will now suggest that this one game will mean nothing when it comes to Vazquez's market. Logic would suggest those people are correct. But this is the time of year decision-makers tend to get illogical.

The Red Sox have lived this life.

Forget Pablo Sandoval's very average existence leading into the 2014 World Series with the Giants. He is a different player on the bigger stages, which is why there was that World Series MVP performance for San Francisco. And, don't you know, every day in Boston is a big stage, so ... (A Red Sox executive actually made that case after signing Sandoval.)

How much more money did the likes of Nathan Eovaldi and Joe Kelly make thanks to their three-week October runs in 2018. One could make the argument they doubled their free agent deals. because of the postseason heroics.

There are plenty of other examples. This happens all the time. The spotlight can be a powerful - and lucrative - thing. It's a reality that Vazquez likely will now be privy to, in some way shape or form.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today Sports