The presumption entering this season was that Tim Federowicz and Ryan Lavarnway, when put together, would form one mean catcher.
Federowicz has always had the reputation as a standout defender, while Lavarnway was coming off Offensive Co-Player of the Year honors in the system, but seemed to need some work on the defensive end.
The fact that Lavarnway has grown by leaps and bounds this season, improving on defense and hammering opposing pitchers at both Portland and Pawtucket, means that Federowicz was expendable. That scenario played out when he was the focus of a prospect package shipped out in order to acquire left-hander Erik Bedard.
In Lavarnway and above him Jarrod Saltamacchia, the Red Sox have two young, talented catchers ahead of Federowicz on the depth chart. Not that Federowicz is chopped liver at the plate; he entered Sunday hitting .277 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 90 games. However, with the Red Sox in need of another starting pitcher, parting with their top catcher at the Double-A level to do so was elementary.
Also moving on in the three-team deal that netted Bedard was Stephen Fife, who was 11-4 with a 3.66 ERA with the Sea Dogs, and outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang, the Eastern League leader in hitting (.340), RBIs (76), doubles (37), extra-base hits (59), runs scored (68) and slugging percentage (.648).