FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox catching competition may be over already.
General manager Ben Cherington made it clear this morning that Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross will be the catchers and that Ryan Lavarnway has to wait his turn.
“For right now I think our expectations [are] Salty and Ross, they’re the two proven guys. We signed Ross for a reason and Salty has continued to build on each year and added some things and gotten better. He’s a power threat [and] capable of being one of the best catchers in the league. We’ve seen that. We’ve seen other parts of seasons when he’s struggled.
“He’s still a young guy. We expect him to continue to develop and be even better this year than he was last year. We think Salty and Ross complement each other well offensively.
“We feel pretty good about where we are catching wise.”
So where does that leave Lavarnway?
“Lavarnway has come a long way. We think he’s going to be a really good player for us. Sometimes the clock doesn’t start exactly when the player wants to. But he’s proven at the Triple-A level that he’s capable of helping a major league team. That’s going to happen, we just don’t know exactly when.”
Lavarnway, 25, has played 144 games in Triple-A over the last two seasons, hitting .295/.382/.511 with 26 home runs and 98 RBIs. He has hit .172 /.230/.286 in 209 major league plate appearances from 2011-12.
Cherington did not speculate on the possibility of a trade.
“I’m not sure about the odds. We’ll see,” he said. “We’ve talked to teams all winter. We kind of know where other teams are and some teams have done most of what they need to do and some teams are still working on things and may have some questions this spring training. We’ll continue the conversations and see if anything comes to us that makes sense. But we’re not motivated to make a deal. We don’t need to make a deal. We’ll see if one comes to us that makes sense.”