Sox already have a Starting Catcher


It is assumed that Ben Cherington is in desperate need of a starting catcher for 2014 and the current speculation includes FAs Carlos Ruiz [35] and Brian McCann [30], and A.J. Pierzynski [36], as well as a possible trade for Baltimore’s Matt Weiters [27].  But, maybe Cherington already has his starting catcher.

Check this guy out:

Age / DOB: (26) / 8/7/1987
Ht / Wt: 6’4′ / 225
Bats / Throws: Right / Right

 

$482,000

contract
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2016, Earliest Free Agent: 2019

 

Let’s compare Catcher X with the departed Salty.

Saltalamacchia’s 2013 Season totals:

 G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

121

470

425

68

116

40

0

14

65

4

1

43

139

.273

.338

.466

.804

 

CATCHER X’s 2013 Season totals:

 25

  82

  77

   8

  23

 7

  0

    1

   14

    0

   0

  2

   17

 .299

.329

.429

.758

 

Since Catcher X had about 18% of Salty’s ABs, let’s multiply a few stats by 5.

CATCHER X ADJUSTED:

125   410   385  40  115 35  0   5     60      0     0    10     85    .299*   X

*BA was calculated using 115 Hs and 385 ABs.

G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

121

470

425

68

 116

40

0

14

65

4

1

43

139

   .273

.338

.466

.804

125   410 385  40  115   35  0      5     60     0     0    10     85    .299* .329  .429  .758

92

  341

310

30

  83

  16

 0

  5    37

   1

   0

  18

   39

  .268

.320

.368

  .688

Aug 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) and catcher Ryan Lavarnway (20) speak during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The third catcher listed is Carlos Ruiz.

 

What about defense?

SALTY DEF. CAREER

FLD%    .988   lgCS%  27%

PLAYER X DEF. CAREER

FLD%    .992  lgCS%  26%

Carlos Ruiz DEF. CAREER

FLD%    .995  lgCS%  27%

 

SHOW ME THE MONEY

Salty turned down $14M for 1 year.  Jon Heyman reports that Saltalamacchia is seeking a three or four-year deal with an average of around $9 million and the White Sox are very interested.

Ruiz wants $10M for 2 or 3 years each.

Catcher X is signed for LESS THAN HALF A MILLION per year for the next three years.

Yes, Catcher X is Ryan Lavarnway.

If you compare Lavarnway [27] to Ruiz, he beats the aging veteran [34]; the guy currently on the 40-man roster is about even on offense and defense.  Ruiz may have a bit more power, but Lavarnway out hits him by 31 points on the BA [.299 to .268.]

Free Agent Brian McCann [29] has more power than both Ruiz and Lavarnway [20/57], but he scores just 3 runs more than Lavarnway [43/40], who also has a higher BA [.299 to .256].

If Ruiz thinks he can get $10M a year, then McCann can ask for $25M for 5-7 years.  Our own BSI Co-Editor says “But his price is set at a five-year deal and some media members believe he’ll seek and obtain close to the $100 million dollar range.” [http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/11/14/red-sox-free-agent-rumors-roundup-catcher-edition/]

We are obligated to add A.J. Pierzynski

Our own Derek Stykalo writes:

“It’s been documented that Pierzynski has created a riff with teammates in the past and isn’t considered to be well liked around the league.  Coming off a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, the Phillies are said to be highly attracted to Pierzynski, if they can’t retain Ruiz.  A one-year deal worth $8 to $9 million might be enough to land the 37-year old but given the baggage that is said to come with him, let’s hope that Cherington is merely doing his due diligence.” [http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/11/14/red-sox-free-agent-rumors-roundup-catcher-edition/]

TAKE AWAY:

  • The Sox have a veteran catcher in Ross, who can start 60-70 games and school Lavarnway on handling pitchers, calling games, and defense.
  • The Sox have two excellent catching prospects who are 2-3 years away from MLB [Christian Vazquez [23], AAA and switch-hitter Blake Swihart [21], AA [Sox #5 rated prospect].
  • Ruiz will drain $10M a year for 2 years, get old and injured.
  • McCann would be a “Crawford Contract”–$22M, 5-years.
  • A.J. Pierzynski might play a year or two for $8-9M per year and be a cancer on the clubhouse.
  • Lavarnway will earn a half million dollars and Ben can have some extra cash to spend.

Or, Cherington can add Lavarnway to the roster of his “Next Great Red Sox Team” and play him with Jackie Bradley, Jr., Will Middlebrooks, Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz, and all the other prospects that are blossoming in AAA and AA in 2014.

Cherington has to have the balls to risk not repeating as World Series Champions, so he can begin the transition to the his mostly home-grown team that will stay together and be a contender for a decade.

 

BSI RELATED POST: http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/11/14/red-sox-free-agent-rumors-roundup-catcher-edition/

 

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Homegrown Team Ryan Lavarnway

  • John Fahrer

    Lavarnway will not be the starting catcher next year. He gave up 25 stolen bases in 22 games caught last season and his OPS in the bigs is .585. Shows how little they trust the guy when he was up for a good chunk of the season and only played in that many games. His ability to hit for power has diminished since 2011. Probably more likely to be dealt as a throw-in in a big trade or even more likely swapped for organizational depth before he’s passed over by Vazquez and Swihart.

  • scott campbell

    Your article is a good one and makes some interesting points but you totally made an a** out of yourself when you said more than once that ruiz would get 20 million “per” season. He is fielding 2-3 year offers for 20 million…big difference.

    • Michael Macaulay-Birks

      it was obviously a typo, scott….give the guy a break

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      typo…will correct it…thanks for the comment!

  • Rick M

    Lavarnway is probably just a combo player…..catch and DH. A bit of both. He just does not seem that fluid as a catcher. Seems he has really dropped on the depth chart.

    His nice little offensive run in 2013 could notch up his value a bit and I can see him as a potential chip for a team that is going nowhere and is willing to give a low price object some playing time.

    • John Fahrer

      Really disturbed by his drop in home run power as well.

      They really can’t afford to have Lavarnway as a primary catcher next season. Opposing teams will run wild on him. If he’s not dealt this offseason, he’ll be passed over by Christian Vazquez and possibly Blake Swihart. Right now I’d probably take Dan Butler over him as a backup. Unfortunately the only return he’d bring in is organizational depth unless he’s a throw-in in a bigger deal.