Updates on Saltalamacchia, Blue Jays’ catchers

In his Sunday column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo says a “decent market” could develop for Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Cafardo suggests the White Sox could be interested in Saltalamacchia if they do not retain A.J. Pierzynski, saying, “They could move someone like Gavin Floyd, who also could be a fit for the Blue Jays should they be interested in moving J.P. Arencibia.”

Cafardo says part of the reason the Red Sox signed C David Ross was to serve as a mentor to prospect Ryan Lavarnway, suggesting it’s unlikely Boston would deal Lavarnway over Saltalamacchia.

In regards to the Blue Jays’ catchers, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald says Toronto is shopping Arencibia, Travis D’Arnoud, and John Buck, but is “leaning toward Arencibia or D’Arnaud.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

From a Mets standpoint, the most comparable big league starting pitcher to Floyd would be Dillon Gee. Gee is the logical odd man out when Zack Wheeler is ready, assuming the Mets hold onto both R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese this winter and the Mets aren’t dealing with an injury when that time comes. Gee seems to be someone the Mets could build a package around for either Saltalamacchia or Arencibia, both of whom appear to be excess on their respective clubs. Gee is coming off season-ending surgery, but his injury was non-baseball related and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Of the two, I’d prefer Arencibia. He provides equal offensive output at a fraction of the cost (he isn’t eligible for arbitration until next winter, whereas Saltalamacchia will earn around $4 million through arbitration), making him a better value. I also worry about Saltalamacchia’s ability to hit in more pitcher-friendly parks, such as the ones in the National League East. That’s not to say Arencibia wouldn’t have trouble in the same conditions, but he is a smaller gamble and can serve in a platoon with Josh Thole in a worst case scenario. In addition, Saltalamacchia can become a free agent after the 2013 season, and I don’t think the Mets should trade a controllable starting pitcher for someone under those circumstances right now.

More on Jarrod Saltalamacchia...

Stats: In 121 games for the Red Sox in 2012, Saltalamacchia hit .221 with a .288 OBP and a .454 SLG, 25 home runs and 59 RBI in 448 plate appearances.

Contract: Saltalamacchia, 27, signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to avoid arbitration in his second year of eligibility. He can become a free agent after the 2013 season.


More on J.P. Arencibia...

Stats: Arencibia hit .233 with a .275 OBP and .435 SLG, 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 347 at-bats over 102 games in 2012. He broke his hand in late July and missed about six weeks.

Contract: Arencibia earned $489,000 in 2012 and is not eligible for arbitration until 2014. He can become a free agent after the 2016 season.