The Boston Red Sox did not need to be in a difficult spot at the catcher position.
They had the answer on the phone. Christian Vazquez had called the front office to see if they were interested in bringing him back. While he had an offer from the Twins, Vazquez wanted to return to Boston. Instead, the Red Sox were not interested, with their long time backstop heading elsewhere.
Boston Red Sox need a plan at catcher
Where does this leave the Red Sox? Right now, they have two catchers on their 40 man roster in Reese McGuire and Connor Wong. Those two have a combined 241 major league appearances behind the plate thus far in their careers. This is not what the Red Sox, who are hoping to contend for a postseason berth, would expect.
The market is quickly drying up at the catcher spot, leaving the Boston Red Sox without an answer. Here are three paths they could follow.
Sign Gary Sanchez on a one year deal
If the Boston Red Sox were planning on finding a catcher in free agency, those hopes are just about dashed.
The top options are gone, even if one of those reached out to the Red Sox. Most of the secondary and tertiary options are off the board as well. Even potentially intriguing options such as Willians Astudillo are elsewhere, with La Tortuga heading to Japan. There just is not much left out there.
However, there is one catcher that could be considered a viable starting option. Gary Sanchez may not have lived up to expectations, but he has been a solid enough bat in the lineup. Even a down year in 2022, where he posted a .205/.282/.377 batting line with 16 homers and 24 doubles in his 471 plate appearances, would be an improvement over what the Red Sox currently have on the roster.
Sanchez could also be relatively inexpensive, something that could make a difference for a Red Sox team with plenty of holes to fill. He may be looking at a one year make good deal to show that he can still be a powerful threat in the lineup before testing free agency once more. Although the free agent class at catcher for the 2023-24 offseason is not impressive, Sanchez could be a useful stopgap to allow a reset at the position next year.
The Boston Red Sox need to find a viable major league option behind the plate. Gary Sanchez may be their best hope in terms of free agency.