Cafardo On Rays, Mathis, Flowers, Red Sox

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opens this week's Sunday Notes column by taking a look at how the Rays have succeeded this year depite losing many key players in the offseason. Cafardo points out that the AL East looks like a "very flawed division" so far, meaning the Rays could once again be bunched up with the Yankees and Red Sox in the standings. Here are some other notes from Cafardo:

  • Jason Varitek praised the defensive abilites of Jeff Mathis, who may be a trade candidate: "He’s a very athletic catcher. He has a good arm. He creates a good situation for his pitching staff. You can tell the pitchers really enjoy throwing to him. He’s fun to watch back there because he does things so easily. He’s one of the best."
  • Tyler Flowers, the catcher for the White Sox' Triple-A club in Charlotte, could be available and was scouted by the Red Sox and a handful of other teams in Spring Training.
  • Red Sox minor leaguer Josh Reddick has "generated a lot of chatter among scouts," according to Cafardo, who speculates the outfielder would draw plenty of interest if Boston made him available. One scout on Reddick: "He’s a major league player and he’d be playing for a lot of teams in the big leagues right now."
  • Former Red Sox and White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk would like a chance to instruct young players for either organization, but says he's never received a serious offer to do so.

39 Responses to Cafardo On Rays, Mathis, Flowers, Red Sox Leave a Reply

  1. Why in the world wouldn’t you want Pudge Fisk guiding your catchers? Give him a chance, Red Sox. I’d say White Sox, but I’m a Tigers fan and I don’t want AL Central catchers getting better whatsoever.

  2. Never received a serious offer = they won’t pay me what I want.

  3. hawkny1 4 years ago

    Considering the present catching circumstances on the Red Sox, Veritek’s remarks about Mathis are totally unappreciated. Jason should contain himself to observations about his own team, himself, and what he and his battery mate, Jarrod Saltalmacchia, can do to improve the overall performance of the Red Sox pitching staff, throwing runners out and getting hits at the plate.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      I think he’s trying to say he’d rather split time with Mathis instead of Salty.

      • monkeyspanked 4 years ago

        Sorry. Hank Conger over Tek, Salty and Mathis any day.

        • dc21892 4 years ago

          Yes, because the Halos are going to trade us the catcher they are so high on. Nope, they traded Napoli because they were so high on Cogner. And, you’re missing what I’m saying completely.

      • hawkny1 4 years ago

        I think you are exactly right.  Trash mouthing Salty is not what being a team captain is all about.  Maybe Tek is sore because he actually has to work once in a while to earn that $2,000,000 the
        Sox are paying him.  Or, maybe his intention is to divert attention away from his paltry .125 BA….  In any event he is talking like a bush leaguer regardless of motive.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Do you think that Varitek walked up to Cafardo and brought this up? I think it is highly more likely that he was asked about Mathis and gave his opinion, nothing wrong with that. Besides, if they did decide to trade for Mathis (despite it being a bad idea) it would likely be at the expense of Varitek, not Saltalamacchia, and I’d be willing to bet that Varitek is smart enough to realize that. Where did he trash mouth Salty anyway?

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Varitek does not have any right to trash anyone abut anything even if that was what the intention of his conversation was, not with his lousy .126BA, .226OBP and 3-10 in SB attempts. If it wasn’t for the fact he was a decade long Red Sox player he would be out of MLB period.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I still don’t see where he ever actually trashed anyone anyway, so this whole conversation is pointless.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Standout member #1 of the Tek fan club here speaketh. Ah yes to take up for him yet again. Then imagine the same will be when Boston finally cuts ties with him and saying nasty things about the organization for letting him go as well.

            This is not a Dwight Evans, nor Yaz type player for longevity here. let the guy go off somewhere and retire and stop taking up for him and sit in his chair to watch the games, or coach. Some of you fans seem to have no clue what loyalty even meant to teams and think 10 years or so is a long term commitment, well it ain’t..

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I don’t really even know what you are trying to say, but I think you are saying that I am Varitek’s #1 fan, and that I don’t know what a long term commitment is, or some nonsense like that. I’m not a Varitek fan boy, he has had his place on this team, and now he is a (somewhat) serviceable backup who plays too often. I never said anything about how good Varitek is, or Salty for that matter, but I don’t see where Varitek “trashed” Salty. He never even said anything about him. He was asked a question, and he answered it. End. Of. Story.

          • hawkny1 4 years ago

            I agree, it isn’t likely that V-tek contacted Cafado to express his opinions but, as captain of the Red Sox, at a time when the Boston press is crying for a scalp in the Sox catching department, and the entire team is playing poorly, he should be saying positive things about his teamate(s) rather than lauding the talents of player(s) on an opposing team.  He certainly wasn’t going to criticize himself, so who is left to benefit from his backhand slap?  Cheap, indirect shot at Salty IMHO, considering his, Varitek’s performance to date.  He must be mad because he actually has to work 2-3 days a week to draw down that $2,000,000 salary Theo agreed to pay him to be the backup for 2011.  Too bad that  some guys, Varitek included,  just do not know what a gift looks like when they get one.

          • BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

            The entire Red Sox team is playing poorly? I think we’ve been watching different games lately..

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            What was he supposed to do?

            “Hey Jason, what do you think of Mathis?”

            “Yeah, our team is great, Nick.”

            “Wait. What? I asked what you thought of Mathis.”

            “Yeah that Salty kid is good, ain’t he?”

            “Holy crap, never mind.”

            There was no “cheap, indirect shot” at Salty; he never mentioned Salty, he never said they should trade for Mathis, he didn’t bring it up, he likely wouldn’t have ever even thought it if Cafardo hadn’t have asked the question, so if you need to be mad at someone be mad a Cafardo for bringing it up.

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      Maybe that is his solution to improving the cathing, trade for Mathis.

      • mkorpal 4 years ago


      • hawkny1 4 years ago

        Right… 39-year old Veritek, with his .125 BA and 1-15 in putouts per attempted base steals,  plus $5M for Mathis…   The Angels will jump at that opportunity.

  4. we will give you Mathis for a bag of Peanuts

    • dc21892 4 years ago


      • sweet!! Have fun with the sub .200 batting average. And we will enjoy our Peanuts

        • GoAwayNow 4 years ago

          Have you checked Salty and Tek’s offensive numbers? At least Mathis could throw someone out for us.

          • cookmeister 4 years ago

            no he can’t

          • Mathis couldn’t throw anybody out if his life depended on it…

          • GoAwayNow 4 years ago

            My bad, by the way baseball people talk about his defensive skills I assumed he was better than he is. This season he’s just about the same as Salty, but still significantly better the Varitek.

        • dc21892 4 years ago

          GoAwayNow is right. It’s not offense we’re looking for there right now. We need a guy who can throw and get the pitching staff on track. We can live with a poor bat from that spot.

          • Nick Sossamon 4 years ago

            You realize that Mathis is horrible defensively, right? He was rated as the worst catcher in baseball last year by several sources and his defensive metrics continue to decline. And this is coming from an Angels fan. There seems to be some endless conspiracy around the league that Mathis is a defensive god out there behind the plate, and it continues to be ridiculous and make no sense.

            If you go to any Angels boards out there, you will see nothing but “Mathis is trash” and “How much longer will Mathis have a job?” threads.

          • dc21892 4 years ago

            I’ve heard nothing but praise whenever games are on FOX about how is so good defensively. I haven’t gotten to see much of him because the Angels aren’t real on here but all I ever hear is people raving about his defense. Could have sworn him and Napoli were like Jekly and Hyde.

          • bjsguess 4 years ago

            This is the problem … the metrics and the scouts simply do not agree with Mathis’ ability behind the plate. Not being a catcher I have a hard time noticing the little things that guys do. But I guarantee that Sciosccia picks up on them. Varitek is just another guy in a long line of players who have praised Mathis’ game behind the plate.

            Of course, the metrics contradict these evaluations. That said, I think we can all agree that catcher metrics are BY FAR the most murky of all defensive assessments. Calculating UZR is hard enough. Measuring how well a catcher controls the pace of the game, frames a pitch, works with an umpire, etc are all subtleties that don’t get picked up in a report.

            All that said, I would still move Mathis in a heart beat. Unlike the Red Sox, we NEED offense at catcher. I’m totally fine with Conger getting 125 starts with Wilson getting another 40 or so. I don’t think we miss much with Mathis’ departure.

          • Nick Sossamon 4 years ago

            Even if metrics are hard to measure for the catching position, he’d have to be Yadier Molina defensively to justify a career sub-mendoza batting average over 1100+ career PA’s. The guy is just a black hole on offense. Conger is essentially Babe Ruth comparatively, and his defense is at least as good.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Then why not promote McKenry?

  5. I wonder if the Red Sox could acquire one of the Pirate’s catchers. Both are more than likely available and are having good seasons.

  6. $6101468 4 years ago

    The way the catching is going maybe Fisk should be behind the plate? Of course Mathis is a career under the Mendoza Line guy so he’d be ideal for the Sox. So Reddick has MLB potential? Well, Theo, maybe see what you can get for the kid to shore up the catching?

    • Reddick for Mathis?

      • $6101468 4 years ago

        I would not trade a broken bat for the guy. This is time for an upgrade with a future. For four years I have wanted the Sox to pick up Olivo. I thought he’d have been the perfect 100 game a year guy with good defense and some occasional bat sting.

        • dc21892 4 years ago

          We had the option to sign him this offseason. I thought we were going to. He’s got good pop. Oh well, maybe the M’s try to deal him, which is unlikely since they got him on a baragin deal.

      • BentoBox 4 years ago


  7. Varitek is just messing with Mathis, what a joker.

  8. Great post and comments…

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