More rumblings on Montero?

Baseball trades, rumors and blog coverage - SB Nation MLB Hot Stove

Peter Gammons, in particular, seems to be still thinking the Red Sox might make a move for Montero. In a Q&A chat on Boston.com, he said the following in response to the question, "What young catchers would top the Red Sox' wish list?"

There's a difference between wish list and realistic wish list, but right now, they seem to be focused on Miguel Montero from Arizona, with Saltamacchia in Texas a possibility. Early in the fall, they tried to make a run at Russell Martin of the Dodgers and Mike Napoli of the Angels, but without success. They can have Montero if they'll trade Michael Bowden but thus far the Red Sox have refused to trade him.

The Red Sox are still definitely seeking a backup catcher. On Tuesday,. Sean McAdam wrote about their remaining roster holes, and the first thing he covered was the catcher's spot: "The free agent pickings are slim...so it’s more likely that the club will deal for additional help behind the plate to team with the prodigal Josh Bard.  For now, the asking price on the trade front (read: Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden) remains too high for the Red Sox’ liking. This now becomes a stare-down with the Arizona Diamondbacks (Miguel Montero) and Texas Rangers." Over at Bleacher Report, there seems to be some bullet-biting going on. "There will be those in Boston that will not be thrilled should the Red Sox deal a young pitcher, but we have to look at the reality of the situation. When it comes to filling needs, you have to give something up. Both the catchers Boston has designs on come at a price."

The Bottom Line has a good recap of the main pitching prospects being mentioned  as involved: Buchholz, Bowden and Daniel Bard, and includes the CHONE and Marcel projections where available -  CHONE prefers Buchholz, while Marcel likes Bowden better. Buchholz is the better-known, having made 15 starts for the Red Sox last season: he got lit up, with a 6.75 ERA, but struck out almost a batter per inning, and had an unfortunate BABIP of .355. At age 24, he would have definite upside, and would also deliver on Moorad's [now possibly empty] promise of a fourth starter.

Michael Bowden got a literal cup of coffee with Boston last season, making one start and getting the win with five innings of two-run ball. He was promoted to Triple-A after nineteen starts and a 2.33 ERA at the level below, and had a 3.38 ERA in 40 innings after moving up. Particularly of note, he walked just five batters there, and overall, has a nice walk-rate of 2.35/9 IP in his minor-league career. John Sickels rated him a B+ grade prospect, citing his "strong command of solid stuff." That made him Boston's #2 player, and was the same ranking as he gave our top prospect, Jarrod Parker, though level and age are obviously different.

It seems that Arizona does have the advantage in this trade. They don't need to deal Montero: if they do, that would presumably just make James Skelton the backup catcher, though the regular-season workload would probably be shifted more towards Snyder in such a case. Boston, however, definitely do need a catcher, to go alongside Josh Bard, and as Opening Day gets nearer, if nothing happens, the pressure will be on them to get a trade done, whether with us or another team.

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