Earlier on Wednesday, Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox were looking to upgrade on catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in large part due to Boston feeling like they aren't getting their money's worth. His bat isn't the problem -- he's hitting better than he did the last two years at the moment -- but his defense is another story. While he doesn't necessarily hurt them behind the plate, he doesn't help them either, and that's a problem.
Olney semi-defended Jarrod Saltalamacchia's inaction in Tuesday night's contest against the Blue Jays, stating that maybe people in the Red Sox dugout were unaware that Salty failed to protest a rule about an umpire interfering with the catcher, or that there was interference at all. Turns out that Olney's guess is off-base, and the Red Sox in the dugout were aware. Including manager John Farrell, who had a whole lot to say to Alex Speier on the subject:
"Watching Salty make the exchange and seeing where the ball went, I'm watching his footwork and the flight of the baseball, and you would think a normal reaction from the catcher would be, ‘Hey, I got caught up in the umpire's face mask.'
Still, I would have expected Salty to have a much quicker reaction, like, ‘Hey, I got caught up here.' Because when you have a bump with the umpire, that's an immediate dead ball and base runners go back to their base.
Farrell was asked if Saltalamacchia should have been aware of the rule.
"My gut feel of that is yes. Any time you get caught up with the umpire's mask, you would think there would be a reaction to say, you know what, something didn't quite go right here," said Farrell. "It was talked about in the dugout. Others, we were well aware that it is, in fact, a rule. It's a dead ball rule."
The play ended up allowing two runs to score, and that's conveniently how much the Red Sox lost by. This particular incident is probably a one-time thing, but if the Sox are thinking of upgrading on Saltalamacchia, have attempted to deal him in the recent past, and other front office types from elsewhere in the league think he doesn't care about his defense, then you can probably piece together that Boston has had concerns about Salty behind the plate for longer than just the last 24 hours.
No one from the Red Sox has come out to confirm or deny Olney's assertion, but why would they? If they're looking to trade for a catcher, they aren't about to start publicly making Salty's time as their starter uncomfortable, nor are they going to just give away their plans for the year. Despite this, it will be interesting to see if this even gets a no comment from the organization, given Salty trade rumors are not something new for them by a long shot.