With Napoli signed there are fewer variables in the 2013 season.
The offseason is winding down but rumors are still flying in and around Boston.
The Red Sox have all but settled on their core for the 2013 season but with pitchers and catchers less than three weeks away from reporting in Fort Myers, it's time to dissect the latest rumors surrounding the Red Sox.
Unlike earlier in the offseason when the Red Sox made a barrage of signings and overhauled their roster, the latest rumors are more about tweaking the 2013 team.
I will break down what is fact and what is fiction regarding the Red Sox.
Saltalamacchia would compliment Napoli's right hand bat at first.
Fiction (for now)
With news coming out that Mike Napoli has a hip condition and the first base market being thin, some have suggested that Jarrod Saltalamacchia could platoon at first base.
However, Rob Bradford has squashed that when he asked Salty about playing first, the 27-year-old catcher responded, “I haven’t had any conversations about first base.”
Though he hasn’t been asked yet, it makes some sense since Saltalamacchia could spell Napoli when the team faces certain right-handed starters.
With the glut off catching on the team, this isn’t out of the question.
Saltalamacchia is in line to be the starting catcher on opening day.
In addition to questions about Jarrod Saltalamacchia playing first base, there are also those who wonder if he could be traded before spring training.
For now Gordon Edes doesn’t see that as an option.
After avoiding arbitration and signing a one-year, $4.5 million contract, Saltalamacchia is in line to be the team’s starter when spring training breaks.
If the 25-year-old Ryan Lavarnway had played better last season, trading Salty may have been an easier pill to swallow.
However, after Lavarnway batted a horrific .157 in 153 at bats and hit only two home runs, he doesn’t seem ready to take over as the team’s primary catcher.
Jose Iglesias could be used as trade bait.
Iglesias has yet to show he has what it takes as a hitter, but he was a major league-ready defender ever since the Red Sox signed him out of Cuba in 2009.
While Singer suggests a trade could be centered around Iglesias and 1B/OF Garrett Jones, the Red Sox would want more than an above average player who doesn’t have a definitive position.
The Red Sox need a left-handed bat capable of playing corner outfield and first base, but with questions about Xander Bogaert's ability to play shortstop long-term, Iglesias still has value to the organization.
The Red Sox made a push to acquire Jose Reyes.
Yes, prior to the Blue Jays acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others from the Marlins, the Red Sox did in fact make a push for the two All-Stars.
The trade never materialized, but Reyes and Johnson certainly could have helped the Red Sox in 2013.
However, depending on what the Marlins were asking for, the Red Sox may or may not have made the right decision.
Reyes is a dependable player, but with a back-loaded contract set to pay him $92 million for the next five years, the move would have negated the savings the Red Sox secured when they traded Carl Crawford.
Also, with Johnson entering a walk year, there was no certainty that they would have him long term.