The market for free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is taking shape according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman notes that the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies have joined the Salty sweepstakes and the Minnesota Twins are already noted as having a ‘strong interest’ in the backstop.
The Red Sox have already made an attempt to re-sign Saltalamacchia when they offered him a two-year deal, albeit the offer was made prior to both Carlos Ruiz and Brian McCann signing with the Phillies and Yankees respectively. It’s believed that Salty is seeking a multi-year deal in the 3-4 year range and given he’s the highest ranked catcher still available, it’s likely he can demand and receive it.
Heyman notes that the Rockies are looking for a catcher to compliment Wilin Rosario and have discussed moving him to the outfield as an option. The Blue Jays meanwhile are looking for an upgrade at the position to possibly replace J.P. Arencibia.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, with Joe Mauer moving to first base on a full-time basis, the need to fill the backstop position is a glaring hole for the Twins and Saltalamacchia could be a good fit.
For Boston, there are other options available should Salty be lured away by an attractive 4-year deal that will surely see him become grossly overpaid. A.J. Pierzynski and Dioner Navarro are both fall back options and could likely be had on a one-year deal, should the Red Sox decide to bow out of the Salty race.
Ben Cherington stated yesterday that he feels the team can be “choosy” when it comes to filling one of the club’s biggest offseason priorities which could mean they aren’t willing to go more than two-years on Saltalamacchia.
Furthermore, Larry Lucchino recently stated that the team still believes in the “less years, more money” approach, so a revised two-year offer with a higher annual salary for Saltalamacchia wouldn’t come as a shock.
With multiple teams now jumping in on Salty, it’s likely he’ll sign a new deal relatively soon. Will that be with the Boston Red Sox? Time will tell.