The Red Sox are going to have some competition if they want to re-sign catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500, the Twins have expressed preliminary interest in Saltalamacchia. The reported interest comes on the heels of catcher Joe Mauer shifting to first base on a full-time basis.
Saltalamacchia is coming off a solid season, although he did struggle during the postseason. The 28-year-old, whom the Red Sox acquired prior to the 2010 trade deadline, hit .273 with 14 home runs, 65 RBIs, a .338 on-base percentage and an .804 OPS in 2013, while also building a strong rapport with Boston’s pitching staff. There’s certainly a chance that Saltalamacchia could re-sign with the Red Sox, even though Boston did not offer the veteran catcher a qualifying offer last week — like it did to fellow free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, all of whom have since turned down the $14.1 million offers.
Wolfson says to also keep an eye on free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski in conjunction with the Twins’ evolving catching situation, as the 36-year-old would represent a one-year, stop-gap option until Josmil Pinto is ready to take over as the main option behind the plate in Minnesota. Signing Saltalamacchia would likely require a multiyear deal given his strong 2013 campaign and youth.
The Red Sox’ catching situation remains one of the club’s most interesting offseason storylines. If Saltalamacchia ends up signing elsewhere, Brian McCann, Carlos Ruiz and Pierzynski are among the other free-agent options available.