At one point, the Red Sox were hard on the trail of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, trying to acquire the catcher in a trade with the Texas Rangers that eventually fell through. Earlier this season, they picked up the young backstop on-the-cheap. The same can now be said for Max Ramirez, who was involved in the Mike Lowell talks early in 2010--a trade which eventually fell through over salary considerations and Lowell's injuries.
Ramirez and Saltalamacchia actually have a lot in common. Both were once highly-touted offense-first catching prospects who have fallen off in recent years, unable to translate their numbers to the higher levels. For Ramirez, though, it might be more a matter of health.
With their catching situation as unsure as it is, this move makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox. While it's unlikely that both Ramirez and Saltalamacchia make the team out of spring training, both players have the potential to surprise, and it's good to see that the options the Sox are stockpiling are of such high quality (compared to, say, Gustavo Molina and Kevin Cash).
Ramirez hit .217/.341/.348 in limited appearances with the Rangers last year, and .286/.373/.381 in Triple-A Oklahoma. He's just two years removed, however, from a 1.067 OPS season in Double-A and a long record of success in the lower levels.