The Red Sox are looking to trade catcher/first baseman Ryan Lavarnway, according to CSN New England's Sean McAdam.
This should come as little surprise to most Red Sox fans. While there was some hype surrounding him towards the tail end of 2011, when Boston's farm system was mostly a barren wasteland, the last two years have not been kind to Lavarnway. When the sky fell in 2012, he was given an opportunity to show his stuff in the majors, and failed spectacularly, producing a line of .157/.211/.248 in 153 at bats. And while his follow-up campaign in 2013 saw some improved results in limited major league opportunities, Lavarnway struggled to hit even minor-league pitching, producing a .696 OPS in 180 Pawtucket at bats.
Equally concerning, though, was that Lavarnway's glove, always in question, has not improved to the point where he can be considered a realistic option behind the plate. While the organization certainly put its weight into puffing up those abilities in the years leading up to his Major League debut, failing to control the opposition's running game and looking awkward in his efforts as a backstop. As such, the Sox have finally started to transition him to first base, where his future likely lies. According to McAdams, this has not escaped the notice of potential trade partners:
"I think most teams now see him as a No. 3 catcher,'' said an American League evaluator of Lavarnway "He could play a little first and DH, and be available if you needed someone behind the plate.''
If Lavarnway ever had much in the way of trade value, most of that has to be gone right now. There's not much of a market for 1B/DH players who haven't proven they can hit in the majors. That being said, the Red Sox just don't have much use for him right now. He's blocked as a potential backup first baseman by Mike Carp and even Daniel Nava, and Christian Vazquez and Dan Butler are more likely to get the call from Triple-A in the event the Red Sox need a catcher. Maybe a team takes a flier on him because they're looking for power and don't really have much to lose, but if the Sox do find a taker, they're not likely to get much of anything in return.