The New York Mets have finally acquired the catcher they've been looking at for over a month now, as Kelly Shoppach is headed to the National League. The Red Sox will receive a player to be named later in exchange for their backup catcher.
Shoppach has had a productive season with Boston, producing an above-average .250/.327/.471 line as one of the club's two backstops, but it was known essentially from the moment he signed that he could on the way out in favor of prospect Ryan Lavarnway at any time in the second half. That has passed from speculation to fact, as Lavarnway is already in the majors, and is in need of more time behind the plate, catching the major-league pitchers that are the next test in his path to sticking in the bigs.
We don't know if the PTBNL is of any consequence, but there's reason to think it could be someone more intriguing than your typical PTBNL. Andrew Bailey will be activated later on Tuesday, and he is in need of a 40-man spot. A mystery player can't take up a 40-man spot, so keeping the return as a PTBNL allows the Red Sox to add Bailey without making further changes to the 40-man -- that assumes whoever it is is currently on the Mets 40-man, though.
Given Shoppach is a backup catcher who will bring the Mets no compensation whatsoever when he's a free agent in just a few months, he might not have the resume to to pull in that much of a haul. Alas, the PTBNL is likely a PTBNL-type return. It could be better than you'd expect, as they sometimes are, but we won't know until it's reported or something leaks out.
Shoppach wasn't with the Red Sox long in his second go-round with the organization, but he hit in his limited playing time, and he also gave us this, the most beautiful moment of his career:
We'll always have that moment, Kelly.