Red Sox have options at catcher

Red Sox have options at catcher
November 20, 2013, 9:45 am
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Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Matt Joyce (right) is restrained by Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) after being hit by a pitch from starting pitcher John Lackey (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Tropicana Field.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

For the Red Sox, the offseason is their oyster. Coming off a World Series title and with a loaded roster that includes highly thought of prospects, Boston can be in on any deal it wants, general manager Ben Cherington said.

“If we wanted to be involved in just about any trade discussion of guys that might be available, we could be,” Cherington said earlier this month (via the Boston Herald). “I’m not sure we want to be involved in all of them, but we’ve got a number of players [who are] asked about at the major-league and prospect level.”

And then there is the matter of the free-agent market, which includes several Red Sox. One of those free agents is catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He’s coming off a strong season — his .273 batting average and .338 on-base percentage were both career highs — and he’s a 28-year-old switch-hitter. Saltalamacchia batted .294/ .350 and hit 12 of his 14 homers from the left side.

The Red Sox reportedly have offered him a two-year contract at under $10 million per season, but he supposedly wants at least three years.

"I've said it all year long. This is a great place to play," Saltalamacchia said after the season (via mlb.com). "It's been a home for me for the past three or four years, and things are going to work out the way they're going to work out. We're just going to have to kind of sit and wait and see."

At the general managers’ meetings last week, Cherington said: “It's obviously a position that we may want to look to do something with. We're going to keep talking about all the available options and see what comes our way."

Backup David Ross, who started the last three games of the Series, is signed for next season. But if Saltalamacchia and the Red Sox can’t work out a deal, they have options on the open market. Chief among them is Braves free agent Brian McCann, a seven-time All-Star with a strong bat. Boston would be among several suitors for McCann, who could cost more than Saltalamacchia.

If not Saltalamacchia or McCann, the market drops off — A.J. Pierzynski, Kurt Suzuki and John Buck.