Jason Varitek needs knee surgery, and WEEI in Boston is saying he may be out 4-6 weeks. I’m sure Will Carroll will have the definitive word on this Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, the Red Sox are scrambling for a catcher who can hit above the Mendoza line. They’re going to have to shop for the high-salary, waiver-passing guys. Who’s available?
Javy Lopez is the first name that comes to mind. Lopez wants a flat-out release, but the Orioles won’t do that. According to the Baltimore Sun, the team would like to pass him through waivers and cover some, but not all, of his salary in a trade. He’s only caught 20 games this year. There’s always the possibility the Yankees put in a claim on Lopez just to thwart the Sox. Lopez has worked with current Yankees Jaret Wright and Sidney Ponson before.
Bengie Molina was a name thrown out by Jerry Crasnick today as a possible waiver trade candidate. Molina makes $5MM on the season and the Jays are 6.5 games back (3-7 in their last ten games).
Mike Lieberthal is in the last year of a huge contract with the Phillies. Liebs has experience catching Mike Timlin and Curt Schilling. As a 10 and 5 player he can reject any waiver claim.
Jason LaRue is a player the Reds wouldn’t mind sending off. He makes $3.9MM this year and $5.2MM in ’07. LaRue is not happy as Dave Ross’s backup.
Rod Barajas is being pushed aside in Texas, and he’ll hit free agency after the season. He was a teammate of Curt Schilling’s for several years in Arizona.
UPDATE: According to Will Carroll, Varitek’s procedure is minor and should keep him out about three weeks.