PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said prior to his team's game Sunday against the Rays that he has no plans to carry three catchers on the Opening Day roster, and insinuated Ryan Lavarnway -- despite the catcher's positive impressions throughout camp -- may have to start the season in the minor leagues.
"Eventually it's going to happen," Valentine said of Lavarnway finding his way onto the major league roster. "If the season started tomorrow, it would not happen."
Valentine explained that he has never felt inclined to have three catchers on the roster, and this year doesn't appear to be any different.
"Never is one of those words I wouldn't use, but there's a high possibility I won't go with three," the manager said
"You know, eventually, the decision goes from [what’s best for[ the individual to [what’s best for] the team. And I don’t know if [Lavarnway's] in that part of his career yet."
A major league source suggested the Red Sox have no plans to deal backup backstop Kelly Shoppach, and even if the team was exploring a deal it would have to get approval from Shoppach. Major League Baseball rules state that any player who signs as a free agent has the right to refuse a trade made prior to June 15.
Lavarnway is 8-for-17 (.417) this spring, not including a 'B' game in which he hit a home run at Hammond Stadium against the Twins.
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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