After learning that the New York Yankees signed catcher Brian McCann to a lucrative 5-year deal, Jarrod Saltalmacchia’s value instantly increased to the point where he now becomes the most highly sought after catcher still available on the open market.
He will almost surely be granted a three or even a four-year deal whether or not that offer comes from the Boston Red Sox. Still without a starting backstop, Ben Cherington insists the team can be “choosy” when it comes to filling one of their biggest holes this offseason, but is that the right plan of attack? In other words, with Salty’s price seemingly increasing everyday, should the Sox bite the bullet and sign him now or stay the course and be content to ride this thing out?
Ricky Doyle of NESN writes that Cherington is in fact content to weigh his options and admits that he and his posse have talked with other clubs about a potential trade involving a catcher. Not a bad plan if it works out.
If it doesn’t, will the Red Sox be content with Dioner Navarro as their fall back option or even A.J. Pierzynski? Or will Cherington work his magic and snag a stud backstop from another club while parting ways with some assets or even roster players?
Given the market that has now taken shape for Saltalamacchia and the urgency from other teams to sign a catcher, the Red Sox may be forced to move on from number 39. Boston wants a two-year deal while Salty is looking for at least three years. With McCann and Carlos Ruiz now off the market, Salty may even get his desired fourth year, while cashing in with an annual salary that will far exceed what he made last year in Boston.
If that’s the case, Salty may price himself out of the Red Sox plans. Or should Cherington up his ante to secure the services of a catcher who they can rely on to produce above average offensive statistics, decent defensive abilities and a sound ability to call a strong game for his pitchers.
You be the judge and take part in our poll.