Red Sox Shopping Ryan Lavarnway

Given their considerable depth behind the plate, the Red Sox have begun shopping Ryan Lavarnway, a source tells Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England. A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross will form the primary catching tandem at the Major League level, while Christian Vazquez and Daniel Butler will handle the catching duties at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Boston has experimented with using Lavarnway at first base during Spring Training, which would likely be where he would receive most of his at-bats were he to open the season at Pawtucket. However, while that bit of experience could make him slightly more appealing in a trade, he's more valuable to the Red Sox or another club when he's catching.

The 26-year-old Lavarnway was once considered Boston's catcher of the future and has ranked as a Top 100 prospect according to and Baseball Prospectus as recently as 2012. He boasts a gaudy .284/.373/.471 batting line in 845 career plate appearances at Triple-A, although it's worth noting that he slipped to a .250/.346/.350 triple-slash in 2013. Lavarnway has also struggled at the Major League level, batting just .208/.258/.327 in 291 PAs.

Many teams figure to be looking for catching help at this time of the year, and Lavarnway is attractive in that he can be controlled through at least the 2018 season (he has one year, 40 days of Major League service time). The Pirates learned today that Chris Stewart will probably need knee surgery (hat tip: Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Twitter), though they likely feel that they have another capable backup to Russell Martin in-house in the form of Tony Sanchez.

The White Sox strike me as a possible fit, as they did little to address that need this offseason and are planning to give Tyler Flowers another opportunity at the job. Lavarnway would fit GM Rick Hahn's stated goal of adding controllable talent, and he's also younger than Flowers with a slightly better minor league track record. The Orioles are also said to be looking outside the organization for candidates to back-up Matt Wieters. Arizona has asked for catchers in trade proposals for their young shortstops as well; while Lavarnway wouldn't be enough for GM Kevin Towers to part with Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius, the mere fact that the D'Backs have prioritized catchers seems to suggest that they wouldn't mind adding some depth. Of course, all of these potential fits are just speculation on my behalf.

63 Responses to Red Sox Shopping Ryan Lavarnway Leave a Reply

  1. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    I am guessing based on Farrell’s “hints” over the last couple of day re: Iglesias… Other teams will be wary of negotiating with the Red Sox.

    I am pretty sure that the Tigers are done.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Teams routinely conduct physical on players prior to acquiring them in a trade. Shin splints are not ordinarily the type of condition that raises major red flags, the Tigers very well may have known at the time of the trade. Regardless I don’t think the Sox did anything wrong or out of the ordinary when they traded Iggy.

      • Willy 1 year ago

        Except for Jose has worse than shin splints, he has Microfractures.

    • Karkat 1 year ago

      Give me a break. The Tigers had every opportunity to decide Iglesias was an injury risk for themselves. Hindsight is 20/20.

      • bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

        Farrell should have kept quiet. Whether he knew or not, it will effect Red Sox trading prospects.

        • MaineBaseball 1 year ago

          I’m sure the Tigers were well aware of the shin problems when they dealt for him. This isn’t going to affect their ability to trade anyone. The teams trading for these players accept any responsibility if they are receiving damaged goods.

        • Matt 1 year ago

          No it won’t, The Tigers most likely knew about the shin splits from a physical and decided it wasn’t that risky.

    • Guest 1 year ago

      Teams regularly conduct physical on the players they are acquiring before completing a trade. The Tigers very well may have known about his shins before completing the trade. Shin Splints are not a major red flag generally, in this case they got worse.

      • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

        I did’t think physicals were common for mid season trades… I thought the teams only exchanged medical reports.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

          There is nothing in the CBA banning or requiring a physical before a trade. The Sox did a physical on Pevey before that very trade, Cherington commented following the physical by saying “we are comfortable where Peavy is physically, Peavy has had no arm issues” (I would link but comment filter wont let me). I assume the Tigers had the same opportunity to perform a physical on Iggy

    • Bronx Bombers 1 year ago

      I somewhat agree. Another recent example of damaged goods being traded was the Pineda-Montero trade with the Yankees and Seattle. Pineda was went straight to the DL, the Yankees needed another outfielder so Seattle gave up Ichiro for nothing pretty much to help remedy that even though it wasn’t official you can tell that was why he got traded. But the Red Sox might need to remedy this or clubs might be wary of trading with them. Unlike Pedro Feliciano, the Yankees didn’t know what they were getting into with Pineda.

      • Notin J. Notin 1 year ago

        The Ichiro trade had nothing to do with Pineda. The Mariners did receive Danny Farquhar in that deal. No idea how you “could tell” it was compensation for Pineda

  2. stl_cards16 1 year ago

    I’d like to see the Cardinals check-in on Lavarnway. The Cardinals need a plan to get Molina more rest as he ages. I’m really not sure what the Red Sox would be looking for, though. Maybe a low minors arm?

    • Matt Galvin 1 year ago

      Greg Garcia? John Gast? Oscar T.? Jenkins?

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        The Red Sox are not asking for or receiving that type of return for Lava. A year or two ago maybe, but not now.

        • stl_cards16 1 year ago

          The funny thing is, the other names he listed are plausible. Then somehow he goes way off-track and Taveras ends up in there.

      • Drew M 1 year ago

        Oscar T.? As in Oscar Taveras?

    • Notin J. Notin 1 year ago

      My guess is the Sox would want the best player they can get who need not be placed on the 40 man roster…

  3. Dynasty22 1 year ago

    About a year too late.

  4. Patrick 1 year ago

    White Sox should offer any of their minor league pitching, or maybe De Aza for Lavarnway and a prospect

    • sourbob 1 year ago

      Thing is, the Red Sox already have an OF logjam, such that they are considering trading Mike Carp. So De Aza wouldn’t work for them at all.

      • Bronx Bombers 1 year ago

        The Red Sox need a CF, I woudn’t want to rely on JBJ and Sizemore if I was a GM trying to get back to the World Series. Losing Ellsbury hurts more the Sox and their fans will admit.

        • sourbob 1 year ago

          Even outside of Bradley Jr. and Sizemore, Victorino plays a respectable centerfield.

          In any case, whether any of us thinks the Red Sox have more OF than they need is immaterial, as THEY believe that. Hence, no deal for De Aza.

        • The Sox don’t need a CF. Sizemore looks good in Spring Training and JBJ will be waiting in AAA getting more seasoning.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            “Sizemore looks good in Spring Training”

            That doesn’t mean all that much, though I’m not saying it doesn’t mean anything at all though.

          • It does mean that they’re not looking for CF options right now.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Doesn’t mean they don’t need one though. Much like how the Yankees can still use a 2B despite having a full time one there (Roberts) with a replacement player probably being a rookie in the farm (Dean Anna most likely). Similar to the Red Sox CF scenario with a vet (Sizemore) and rookie (JBJ). I’m well aware of JBJ’s potential, but the keyword is potential.

          • It does mean they don’t need one. I get the Roberts situation is similar, but adding a CF right now is not a priority for the Red Sox. If Sizemore goes down, there’s JBJ to take his place. If that doesn’t work out, they can address it at the deadline. The Sox have plenty of outfielders and adding one right now doesn’t really help this team.

          • Wags71 1 year ago

            They were comfortable letting Ellsbury walk because of JBJ. So they believe they didn’t need a CF and got Sizemore as a gamble. Now they have two CF.

      • Patrick 1 year ago

        Anyone that would take Carp, JBJ, or Sizemore over De Aza is crazy!

        • Matt 1 year ago

          If he is so great then why trade him for Lavarnway? Either way it is not happening. The Sox have no need for him.

        • Ted Matula 1 year ago

          Then again, the White Sox went and got Adam Eaton to take his place in center, so I’m not sure De Aza is sought after as a center-fielder.

    • Overbrook 1 year ago

      No – you don’t send anything of value for this guy. He has a career OPS 100 points below Flowers.

  5. Zak Arn 1 year ago

    Any insight on to what the Sox are looking to fetch for him?

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      Doubt it would take much. Its a dump situation.

    • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

      Red Sox are moving Lavarnway, because they don’t really have room for him. He probably isn’t too keen on moving to 1B, either. Probably, low/mid-level minor leaguer.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        He was never given a real chance. Last year? Lavarnway only got into games once a week when Salty rested in games vs the league’s toughest pitchers, yet lavarnway still did decent.

        Not saying Lava will be great, but think he could be a decent C/DH backup on a team.

        As for the De Aza proposal above. i doubt it.. He may be the 1st guy cut from Victorino, Nava, Carp, Gomes, JBJ and Sizemore. Hackers that have way negative defensive value are not pursued by Boston very often.

    • Karkat 1 year ago

      A similar player from someone else. Young, fringe type player from another team’s area of depth.

  6. Guest 1 year ago

    Depends on what they are asking for, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs were maybe interested in him. Sox might need an OF and the Cubs have a few that might interest the Red Sox.

  7. Guyute 1 year ago

    Caveat emptor.

  8. Shane Flannagan 1 year ago

    Depends on what they are asking for, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs were maybe interested in him.

  9. Steve Corbett 1 year ago

    Biggest showcase Lavarnway has had so far was 2012 when he hit .157 and threw out a staggering 3 of 31 base stealers. Probably get a AA player and be grateful for that much.

  10. Puig Power 1 year ago

    If they’re not looking for much, the Dodgers make a lot of sense. They are really struggling with catching depth and if there is an injury to AJ the catching situation is going to look quite sad.

    • vtadave 1 year ago

      My thoughts exactly. Federowicz can’t hit, and the rest of the “options” are even less appealing. Maybe Lavarnway for a reliever considering the Dodgers’ depth there.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        Shame they never could mold the 2 one time Sox prospects fed-X glove and arm and Lava’s bat into one player..

        I’d like to see Lava with LA. you have a point there. IMO his defense isn’t nearly as bad as many continually say it is, especially some of the Sox fans. Is he kind of slow behind the plate.. yep, but he does block the ball and throw it fairly well now compared to how well he did a couple of years back and maybe he’ll start hitting for power again if he plays 1b some instead of catching all the time, which was when his power seemed to dip when he stopped DH/C 50/50 split.

  11. livestrong77nyyankz 1 year ago

    I guess we are using the term catcher here loosely.

  12. cyyoung 1 year ago

    Did he ever hit under .280 in the Minors?

    • vtadave 1 year ago

      Triple-A last year.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        I’d stick some of that to he sat on the bench at the MLB level for 3 months, getting 1 start per week and then got sent back to pawtucket when Ross came back. He had barely played any ball over the summer. Lava has/had hit throughout his entire career previously and for power until 2012 when he started catching F/T

  13. BoSoXaddict 1 year ago

    It seems to me that, as unfair as it may be to Ryan, his value to the Sox in AAA as C/DH/1B insurance trumps any possible return they might be able to get for him. After all, he would be the logical 1st call-up should any of AJ/Ross/Papi/Napoli go down. Dude’s having a nice spring too. Tiny sample size of course, but he’s hitting .346/.414/.615 with 2 HR & 5 RBI in 26AB/12G and by all accounts has looked pretty good at 1st. Can’t they find enough ABs for him in Pawtucket split btwn the 3 positions? Is he really below Dan Butler on the depth chart? He may be blocked/redundant right now, but I seriously think the Sox would eventually regret parting ways with his bat, and he’s really yet to be given a full shot at the Major League level. At the very least, he should have the inside track on the 2015 backup job with Vasquez the favorite to start.

  14. Damon Bowman 1 year ago

    In looking for a trade partner for the Red Sox, why would anybody even consider mentioning the Orioles? Between the Orioles, Red Sox, and Yankees you are going to get zero trades completed for the foreseeable future. None of these three management groups want to play any part in potentially helping the other one get any better. You could probably throw the Rays into the mix as well. As for Toronto, who knows what goes through the mind of Anthopolous.

  15. burnboll 1 year ago

    I think Cardinals is the most likely destination.

  16. Paul Shailor 1 year ago

    Probably the Mariners, given their affinity for his type.

  17. Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

    lavarnway needs to go to the white sox

  18. Stoibs 1 year ago

    Vitters for Lavarnway straight up? Red Sox would get some depth for 3B and the Cubs would get some depth for a position in which they have none. Both have had their ups and downs, but that is what makes this such a fair trade.

  19. Bob 1 year ago

    Start the Stanton talks now. Lavarnway and several prospects will get it done

  20. HopJim 1 year ago

    Sox done poor job of positioning Lavarnway for trade-appears that don’t want him versus having “excess talent” at catcher. Would rather see him than .180 hitter Ross or the king of SO’s, AJ (whose last three teams didn’t want to resign) but Sox seem to like their 38 year old catchers. This would be a great place for a big trade to get proven catcher. “Future talent” just that-in future. Sox can win now with right upgrades.

  21. CubsFan5 1 year ago

    Diamondbacks are said to be interested in acquiring a catcher.

  22. tylerdrew 1 year ago

    Sox will end up getting a good low level prospect for Lavarnway. That’s about all they could expect for a 26 year old player who has yet to establish himself at the ML level. He is average at best as a catcher and hasn’t played enough at first to garner any attention there. Hasn’t proved to be a reliable bat at the major league either, time is running out as a prospect.

  23. denniscerasoli 1 year ago

    They won’t get much unless they work a package deal involvind a couple chubs.We had to know this was coming no surprise here.But it hasn’t happened yet.

  24. Willy 1 year ago

    There are several teams that could use Lavarnway but not many that would have what the Sox would presumably want in return. Arizona isnt a match at all. Miami or Baltimore make the most sense but if the Sox wanted to do a bigger trade, IE include someone like Carp, then you could include Pitt. into the mix.

  25. Willy 1 year ago

    People, Jose “Iggy” doesnt have Shin splints, he has Micro-fractures, big difference. And yes he had a physical when he went to Detroit.

  26. hlbouley 1 year ago

    I have always thought the Sox underrated Lavarnway. I saw no reason for getting Ross as a back up. I believe their reasoning was they like the way Ross calls a game behind the plate which requires smarts. If that’s the case I should think Lavarnway is more than qualified as an Ivy league grad.

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