In the latest MLB trade rumors surrounding around the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, it looks like the club is trying to see what it can get for 26-year-old backup catcher Ryan Lavarnway, once looked on as a potential breakout prospect for the Red Sox, but who has never fulfilled the potential he showed in the minor leagues.
Lavarnway has the distinction of being one of the few Ivy Leaguers in MLB, playing his college ball at Yale University where he majored in philosophy. He is also one of only about a dozen Jewish players currently in MLB.
In 2011, he had a monster year in the minor leagues, dividing time between the team’s Double-A affiliate in Portaland, Maine, and the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. Between the two levels, Lavarnway belted 32 home runs and earned a September MLB call-up to Fenway Park.
But the rumors of a Lavarnway trade seemed inevitable after 2013 when he appeared in only 25 games as the Red Sox stormed their way to a surprise American League East division pennant, then all the way to a World Series title in the postseason.
Lavarnway caught in 22 games and appeared in three as a designated hitter, which made it clear that he had fallen largely out of favor with the Red Sox organization.
Now the Red Sox, according to the latest MLB trade rumors swirling around the team’s Fort Myers, Florida, Spring Training complex, are looking to move Lavarnway to a team where he might see more playing time, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks or even AL East divisional rivals the Baltimore Orioles possibly fitting that bill.
At the same time, a trade of Ryan Lavarnway would clear a path for one of the Red Sox two prize catching prospects, Blake Swihart or Christian Vasquez, to find his way to the big club.
In other MLB trade rumors coming out of Red Sox camp, with the emergence of center fielder Grady Sizemore, the world champs find themselves with an excess of outfielders. Sizemore, Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, top prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. and versatile journeyman Mike Carp are competing for three starting and two backup slots.
Obviously, one will have to go. The obvious candidate is Carp, but his ability to play either corner infield position as well as the corner outfield positions while posting solid offensive numbers — an.885 OPS in 2013 in 86 games and 243 plate appearances — makes Carp a valuable piece of the Red Sox 2014 puzzle.
But other trade rumors around MLB have both the Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers looking for help at first base, so either could be a possible destination for Carp.