Dave Dombrowski has been transparent about the Boston Red Sox's catcher situation. He'd prefer to have two on the Opening Day roster, and the Red Sox currently have three with major league experience.
But Boston's season opener is just over a month away, and it doesn't sound like Dombrowski is planning to trade any of Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart in the immediate future.
“I would’ve even thought we would have made a move before we came to spring training, in a lot of cases," Dombrowski said Monday in Bradenton, Fla., before a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, per MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.
“There are some catchers who aren’t even signed yet, who are still out there. It’s one of those where, I learned a long time ago, don’t worry about what you can’t control.”
Vazquez, who started 10 of the Red Sox's 14 postseason games last season, appears to have the edge over Leon and Swihart for the starting job. He's the best defensive catcher of the trio and at least provides serviceable offense, as Leon (.177) and Swihart (.229) both struggled mightily at the plate in 2018.
Swihart's agent also requested a trade for his client last season, so Boston likely will explore the possibility of moving the 26-year-old over the next few weeks.
But the catcher market, like the rest of the free agent market, has been slow-moving. Some veterans like Martin Maldonado still haven't signed, and there's been virtually no trade buzz at the position since J.T. Realmuto landed with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month.
That means Dombrowski may have to wait until the end of spring training to find a suitor for one of his catchers or risk releasing a player like Leon or Swihart, who both are out of minor league options.
"None of them have options left, but we're also not going to just give them away to give them away," Dombrowski said back in December. "We'll see where that takes us."
In the two-plus months since Dombrowski made that comment, the answer is "nowhere." And we may have to wait another month for closure.
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