Ben Cherington, the general manager of the Boston Red Sox has to be considered as Executive of the Year for how he brought in players who were absolutely perfect for Boston and changed the climate of the clubhouse. He actually got the ball rolling back in 2012 when he made that blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and got rid of a lot of overpaid players and their bloated contracts.
Atlanta Braves catcher and current free agent Brian McCann is very interested in playing for the Red Sox. McCann is a seven-time All-Star and a five-time Silver Slugger award winner. He definitely seems to be a quality catcher and has some toughness, which could make him a fan favorite. One would think that this would be great for Boston. However, this could work out to be a really bad fit and could put the Red Sox right back to where they started from before the Dodgers trade. Quite simply, McCann would cost too much. He is apparently looking for a five-year, $75 million contract.
Jarrod Saltlamacchia is a perfectly acceptable choice as Boston’s starting catcher. He showed that he has some serious power in his bat, worked very hard to improve defensively and has gained the respect of his pitchers. Showing an interest in McCann would make a lot more sense if Saltalamacchia was a terrible catcher, but every season there seems to be an improvement in every aspect of his game. Not only that, he could probably be signed at a very affordable rate and there would be no learning curve in a new catcher learning his pitchers.
We don’t know if McCann can handle himself in Boston, which is really a different atmosphere than any other city. The Red Sox won a championship by not trying to sign every elite free agent and instead got gritty role players who love baseball and want to play in Boston. Saltalamacchia is one of those guys. Boston didn’t sign Josh Hamilton last year when fans were clamoring that they needed to and shouldn’t start now. Yes, the Red Sox can’t and shouldn’t keep the team exactly the same. But that also doesn’t mean they have to completely change their philosophy after just one year in order to make a splash in the free agent market.
McCann will probably cost too much. Boston, don’t get caught in huge contracts again. You can’t be expected to have Magic Johnson bail you out twice.
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