How does David Ross impact Sox catchers?

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
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Dale Zanine/US PresswireThe Red Sox have a crowded picture at catcher with the addition of David Ross.
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox's signing of veteran catcher David Ross to a reported two-year deal worth $6.2 million is an interesting move by GM Ben Cherington.

It means the Red Sox now have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and Ross behind the plate. Ross' presence raises the question of whether Cherington is considering a trade involving Saltalamacchia or Lavarnway in order to fill another void on the roster.

Ross, 35, has been the best backup catcher in baseball, and he's been a backup only because perennial All-Star Brian McCann is the starting catcher for the Atlanta Braves.

Ross, who bats and throws right-handed, has played behind McCann in Atlanta the last four seasons. He posted a .256 average with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 62 games in 2012. He's known for his game calling and defense.

It's unlikely the Red Sox would want Lavarnway to spend another full season at Triple-A Pawtucket, so adding Ross means all three catchers would battle for two spots during spring training if a trade is not made.

If the Red Sox deal Lavarnway and the club believes the tandem of Saltalamacchia and Ross is the direction it wants to go, it would be a similar to 2012 when former catcher Kelly Shoppach played when the team was facing a left-hander.

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What should the Sox do now at catcher after signing David Ross?

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Discuss (Total votes: 8,741)

Or, Ross could serve as a mentor for Lavarnway and the two could split time behind the plate until the rookie proves he can handle the job on a full-time basis, which could mean Cherington is shopping Saltalamacchia.

Lavarnway has shown tremendous skills offensively in the minors, but it hasn't translated to the big league level. The 25-year-old spent the majority of the season with the PawSox, but played a total of 46 games for Boston and posted a .157 average with two homers and 12 RBIs. Defensively, he made strides in 2012.

Saltalamacchia, who is well-respected by Boston's pitching staff and is a leader in the clubhouse, hit .222 in 121 games, but added 25 homers and 59 RBIs. His offense tailed off in the second half of the season.

Now it's your turn: What do you think the Sox should do? Vote in the poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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