In 2005, while the White Sox were surging towards a World Championship, Jarrod Saltalamacchia was also enjoying a season that he hoped would not be his peak. Both are yet to surpass the performances of those seasons. We needn’t go into the White Sox accomplishments; we know them all too well. Saltalamacchia started getting some serious attention that year when he posted a .912 OPS for high A Braves affiliate Myrtle Beach. By 2007 he was in the major leagues as a 22 year old backing up Brian McCann at catcher and getting some additional AB’s at first base before being traded at the deadline along with Beau Jones, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz for Mark Teixeira and (Chicago’s own) Ron Mahay. Given his age and position, the .266/.310/.422 line he put up between Atlanta and Texas was impressive. He’s been unable to build on that promise, though, continually disappointing as a part time player until the Red Sox gave him a chance to play full time in 2012.
Why am I explaining the unfulfilled potential of Jarrod Saltalamacchia? Well backup catcher David Ross. They could move forward with Saltalamacchia and Ross but Boston has Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings and he could be looking to be on the major league squad in 2013. As such, rumors swirl about what to do with the surplus of backstops, and Gavin Floyd’s name has predictably surfaced:
As #RedSox sign Ross, worth noting several teams seeking catchers, including Mets, White Sox. Both could deal pitching (Niese, Floyd, etc.)
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) November 10, 2012
Saltalamacchia and Flowers makes for an interesting situation. Two catchers drafted by the Braves organization that haven’t managed to make the impact expected of them. Saltalamacchia is a switch hitter, so Flowers could find himself in another part time situation, which probably isn’t going to make him very happy entering the season. Flowers himself has been included in trade rumors and if the White Sox want to try out Saltalamacchia, who will be entering his age 28 season, they can attempt to move Flowers elsewhere. The latter option doesn’t seem to make much sense, as Flowers is still far cheaper despite being only a year apart in age. The Red Sox avoided arbitration with their catching hopeful by signing him to a $2.5M contract in 2012, while Flowers is not yet arbitration eligible.
There’s not much to it yet, and at this point all Saltalamacchia brings is a dim hope of hitting as everybody thought he’d be able to 5 years ago. Flowers seems to be our man, but options continue to surface.