Red Sox Spring Training: Dombrowski still desires to deal away a catcher

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox reacts to the 9-6 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 9, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox reacts to the 9-6 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 9, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox have reported to Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida and they’re ready to get to work. Dave Dombrowski isn’t exempt from that and still desires to get deals done before Opening Day.

We’ve heard the rumblings around Fenway Park all offseason that President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski wants to deal away one of the Red Sox catchers. Which makes perfect sense considering there is little need for three catchers on the active roster. It was reported today by Christopher Smith of that Dombrowski still wants to ship out a catcher by Opening Day.

Again, this should come as to no shock to anyone in the baseball world as having that many catchers are unnecessary. It did come in handy at times during the season to have Blake Swihart on the bench when both Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez went down with injuries. But in the long haul of the season, it is more detrimental than advantageous to have three spots eaten up by catchers.

"“I think philosophically, yes, that’s what we are planning on doing: to have two catchers rather than three,” Dombrowski said here at the JetBlue Park complex Wednesday. “As you know, that’s always a position where we’re a foul tip away from changing what your outlook is. But realistically I think Opening Day we would have two catchers.More from Red Sox NewsRed Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports GroupBizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departureRed Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contractRich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB recordRed Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure"

It was reported a few weeks ago that Swihart was told by the front office to make sure he was prepared to come into camp and fight for a position. To me, that is a glowing sign of confidence. The benefit to Swihart staying in Boston is his versatility, he can come off the bench to pinch hit or be a defensive sub whenever called upon. He also has a great contract in a time where the Red Sox would ideally want to spend less money. Swihart is set to make only $910K in 2019 compared to Leon ($2.475M) and Vazquez ($2.85M).

Dombrowski didn’t shy away from the less than active free agency and trade market this offseason. He’s aware that there are still some quality catchers on the market as well as on teams that can be dealt away. The catcher landscape did change when J.T. Realmuto was traded to the Phillies last week. This now opens the door for Dombrowski to be able to move a member of the Red Sox catching trio.

"“The Realmuto deal — we’re not dealing the same level of player — but it affects other clubs, other organizations,” Dombrowski explained. “There’s even a couple free agent catchers still out there at this time. So we don’t want to just give our guys away by any means."

Dombrowski is realistic and seems to know that the Red Sox won’t get the kind of reward in return for one of Boston’s catchers that the Marlins did for Realmuto. But there are teams out there with needs and many teams could use a veteran behind the plate like Leon or Vazquez or a versatile utility man like Swihart. Time will tell what the Red Sox are able to do with their staff and if they’re able to get a deal that proves worthy.

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Spring Training has just begun for the Red Sox and they’re already hard at work. With games beginning next week and Opening Day right around the corner, there’s no time to waste. With limited roster spots, will Dave Dombrowski be able to make the deals he wishes to accomplish? I for one will be tuning in every day to see what the Red Sox do this spring.