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The Yankees, Russell Martin, Mike Napoli, And The Red Sox

The Yankees have turned their sights to Russell Martin and away from Boston target Mike Napoli. Does the story end there?

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

There's no telling whether the Red Sox' catching situation is set yet or not. We've heard that Ben Cherington was trying to shop Salty, but then he brought in a potential platoon (plus) partner in David Ross. Ryan Lavarnway is in limbo between Triple-A and the majors, too, and even Mike Napoli could play a role should he wind up in Boston.

The Yankees, on the other hand, seem to have their eyes more firmly set on bringing Russell Martin back. This hasn't always been the case, as only two weeks ago Bob Nightengale reported that the Yankees were in on Napoli themselves. Good news for the Red Sox, right? One less competitor in the Napoli sweepstakes helps their chances, to be sure.

Interestingly, though, that's not the only link in this tangled web of catching. While it's more-or-less slipped from the collective consciousness since the arrival of David Ross, the Red Sox were actually in on Martin themselves. And, while they've certainly been quiet in that area, there's no way to know if they're actually out of that market or not.

It's a scenario I've laid out before: the Sox could ship off Salty, bring in Napoli, and then still find the room for another full-fledged catcher if they were so inclined. Russell Martin doesn't exactly seem due for a tremendously long deal, after all, and if the Yankees can't come to terms with him on dollars...

As crazy as it sounds to say it, this could be an opportunity for the Sox to throw their financial weight around against the (suddenly somewhat conservative?) biggest bullies in the game. No, Martin wouldn't be an amazing get, but he'd likely help out pretty well one way or another, and this is a two-year period where the Sox actually do have money to waste. If the Sox see this as being within their means without hurting their chances of bolstering the rotation, the road could be open. If nothing else, we'd get to laugh for a while about taking all the Yankees' toys.

Right up until they signed everyone left on the market in a fit of rage, thus cutting their profits by about 2%.