As the pitchers and catchers report, the Red Sox still want to make some offers to optimize their mix of personnel in these areas. According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal (Subscription Link), the organization hangs in the trade talks with its three backstops and hopes to find rotation depth in return.
It is hardly surprising that Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations, seeks to move a catcher. After all, he made it clear weeks ago that the team had little interest in wearing Christian Vazquez Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart at the opening roster. 1
Of somewhat greater importance, however, is the concept that the Red Sox wants to top up its starter stock. This is generally the goal of any organization. However, the same fact makes it rather difficult to imagine that a rival team will be particularly inclined to move passable arms – especially given the meager performance of the Boston trio last year and the fact that the Red Sox have already transferred their plan intentions , 19659003] Some may argue that the club should instead focus on its metropolitan area, which is a remarkably risky area of an obviously talented team. This may be a bit of a red herring, as any rotation depth asset (directly or indirectly) could help with the relief unit, and the club knows for sure that it can not trade any of its three catchers for something approaching a premium reliever.
It is far from clear which of these three retention points will move the Sox the most. Perhaps the market still determines the decision to some extent, although the club is now watching the three in uniform again and certainly has its own ideas. Dombrowski said in January that Swihart would "come to the camp and try to be our starter catcher", while the team previously believed in Vazquez by tipping him into an expansion. Maybe that makes Leon a strange man, but he probably would not arouse much interest in trade talks, and he thinks he's a much more reliable defender than Swihart.
It will be interesting how it all develops. Perhaps it would not be completely surprising if the Red Sox ended up naming one of these out-of-options players for use. On the other hand, Dombrowski previously said that the club was waiting to "make a deal in which we feel good," which obviously suggests that there is enough interest from other organizations to at least get some sort of return.