NASHVILLE, Tenn — Mike Napoli is not going to be a full-time catcher. But to some degree he is a catcher. That gives the Red Sox six catchers on their 40-man roster, four with major league experience.
That's too many. But if a trade is the works, GM Ben Cherington did his best to disguise it.
“We’re pretty comfortable were we are. There’s some time before spring training. But we’re trying to strengthen the team all over the roster and it just so happens that we’ve made some additions in that area,” he said.
“We’ll see how this offseason goes. There’s certainly a very viable scenario where all the guys that are here are here in spring training and we figure out Opening Day based on the guys who are here.”
One other scenario, perhaps more viable, would be trading Lavarnway or Saltalamacchia as a way to fill one of their other needs. Cherington said he is still gathering information on what the market would be for a catcher.
“It could be that presents opportunities. We’ve got some potential surplus in that area,” Cherington said.
The White Sox, Mets, Rangers, Rays and Yankees all need catchers to some degree. The Sox aren't dealing within the division, most likely. But they could with the other teams.
The White Sox have Gavin Floyd. The Mets have Jon Niese. The Rangers have some pitchers, too. Or the Sox could look for an outfielder in return or even prospects.
Interesting question: Does Salty have more value because he has MLB experienced and performed pretty well last season or is Lavarnway more valuable because he is younger and would be under team control longer? Salty has one year left before free agency, so it could be Lavarnway. It's a good debate.