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WEEI » This Just In » Cherington: Lavarnway might have to wait
Sat, 02/09/2013 - 3:03pm  

Cherington: Lavarnway might have to wait

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Red Sox general manager said that, as of now, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross are being viewed as the major league catchers, leaving Ryan Lavarnway as the odd man out.

Lavarnway, who has an option, played in 46 games with the Red Sox last year after totaling 17 appearances in 2011.

“Well, right now, our expectation is Salty and Ross, their the two proven guys and we signed Ross for a reason and Salty has continued to build on each year and has added some things and gotten better and he’s a power threat and capable of being one of the best catchers in the league,” Cherington said. “We’ve seen that. We’ve seen other parts of season where he’s struggled. He’s still a young guy. We expect him to continue to develop and he might be even better this year than he was last year. We think Salty and Ross complement each other well. And we feel pretty good about where we are catching-wise.

“Ryan Lavarnway has come a long way. We think he’s going to be a really good player for us. Sometimes the sort of clock doesn’t start exactly w hen the player wants to. He’s proven at the triple a level that he’s capable of helping a major league team. That’s going to happen. We just don’t know exactly when.”

- Cherington said the team hasn’t started extension talks with any players. It is expected, however, that the Red Sox will open conversations with Dustin Pedroia at some point this spring.

“I can’t rule it out, but I can’t rule it in, either,” the GM said regarding extensions. “It’s something that, I think in those cases, certainly the closer a player is to free agency, the more likely those conversations take place. For the team, there’s obviously a benefit to having players on a good contract and having control left. So, there’s a fair amount of incentive for the team to just let that play out. When you have players who have done a lot for the team and mean a lot to the team, I think you always have to have an open door to a conversation, but that doesn’t mean that it goes anywhere. And there’s nothing going on right now as I sit here today.”

The Red Sox general manager took the blame for a lack of depth in the starting rotation in 2012, explaining he feels more confident about the team’s pitching positioning this time around.

Besides the projected rotation of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront, the Red Sox will also be stretching out Alfredo Aceves and Franklin Morales as starters in spring training.

“Yeah, I didn’t do a good enough job last year in that area,” Cherington said. “I don’t think it’s something that happens in one offseason. You can do some things in the offseason, but it really has to happen over time. Starting pitching depth can’t just come from free agency or one area; it has to come from every avenue. We have to develop pitchers, we have to sign the right guys. We have to trade for the right guys. I feel better going into this spring training than we did last year as far as health.”

Daniel Nava and Mitch Maier both worked out at first base under the watchful eyes of coaches Gary DiSarcina, and Brian Butterfield. Ryan Sweeney, who arrived in town after driving from Iowa, said the team hasn’t asked him to play first base but is having his first base glove shipped to camp just in case.

- Principal owner John Henry was in attendance and will speak with the media Monday. Henry did pass on two interesting items: 1. He is the father to a newborn son; 2. Ticket sales for spring training are up by seven percent over last year.

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