It is clear to anyone that watched the Boston Red Sox last season that the team has a lot of work to do this offseason. While the Alex Verdugo saga has mercifully come to an end, Craig Breslow and the rest of the front office still has to figure out how to put together an at least passable starting rotation and hopefully make some upgrades in the middle infield and in the bullpen. That is a big ask for any organization to do during any offseason.
One need that has gone under the radar for Boston this offseason is at catcher. While the Red Sox do have Connor Wong and Reese McGuire behind the plate at the moment, neither catcher exactly set the world on fire in 2023 and one way to make sure that the changes Boston makes on the mound this offseason have the best chances at success is to be very solid behind the plate.
While there aren't any premier catchers available in free agency or in trade this offseason, one name that has been connected to the Red Sox this offseason is longtime Astros catcher Martin Maldonado. If Rafael Devers' Instagram is any indication, Boston could be adding him sooner rather than later.
Rafael Devers seems to think that the Red Sox may sign Martin Maldonado
It is entirely possible that Devers is just reacting to the same rumor mill chatter that all of us are. However, it certainly isn't coincidental that the Red Sox were connected to Maldonado at the Winter Meetings and then Devers posts a picture of himself and Maldy with eyes emojis.
The good news with Maldonado is that he is a tremendous guy in the clubhouse and really knows how to manage a pitching staff. Despite some other shortcomings as a player, the Astros absolutely loved him and there has been no shortage of praise from his teammates as he hit free agency.
The downside is that Maldonado has never been able to hit and was one of the worst players in MLB in 2023. The offensive bar for catchers is pretty low, but his .191/.258/.348 line last season was truly atrocious and his defensive skills declined significantly as well.
At 37 years old, Boston should not under any circumstances rely on Maldonado to carry the bulk of the playing time behind the plate. However, as a guy that can be a "glue guy" in the clubhouse who should be a positive influence on their pitching staff while also apparently making Raffy happy, Boston could do a lot worse.