Tommy Pham stands as one of the better outfielders still on the open market. With Spring Training a couple weeks away, the 10-year MLB veteran is fielding interest from a handful of teams.
Juan Toribio of MLB.com tweets that eight-plus clubs remain in contact with Pham’s camp. Jon Heyman of the New York Post indicates the Red Sox have some degree of interest. Boston chief baseball officer Craig Breslow said last month the team was open to adding a right-handed hitting outfielder, making that a natural fit.
Pham is headed into his age-36 campaign. He’s coming off a productive year split between the Mets and eventual NL champion Diamondbacks. Pham hit 16 homers with a combined .256/.328/.446 batting line through 481 plate appearances in the regular season. He stole 22 bases in 25 attempts with slightly better than average walk and strikeout rates (9.8% and 22%, respectively). He made hard contact — an exit velocity of 95 MPH or better — on nearly half his batted balls.
As Arizona made their surprising run to the Fall Classic, Pham chipped in a .279/.297/.475 line with a trio of homers across 16 postseason games. It was a solid finish to his most productive season since 2019. He paired that well-rounded showing at the plate with league average defensive marks in a bit more than 500 innings of left field work.
That performance should at least secure Pham another decent salary on a one-year contract, although it might not be enough for a multi-year deal at his age. He has signed one-year deals in each of the last two offseasons. He inked a $7.5MM guarantee with the Reds going into 2022 and a $6MM contract with the Mets last winter. His camp should look to beat those numbers off a superior platform showing than he had in either of the previous two free agent trips.
Pham finished the ’22 campaign in Boston, as Cincinnati dealt him to the Red Sox at the deadline. While the Sox have since changed front office leaders, manager Alex Cora and much of the roster is familiar with Pham from that previous stint. Boston has swapped in Tyler O’Neill for Alex Verdugo this offseason. O’Neill joins Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran, Rob Refsnyder and young players Wilyer Abreu and Ceddanne Rafaela in the outfield mix.