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Ross signing suggests Red Sox could shop Salty

The Red Sox's new $6.2-million, two-year deal for David Ross is a sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be available in trade.

The Red Sox are very high on catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway, and they must see the veteran backup Ross as a nice complement to Lavarnway. Ross has an agreement with the Red Sox, sources confirmed.

The Red Sox also have interest in free agent Mike Napoli, and while they likely see him doing the bulk of his playing at first base, there'd be even less opportunity for Saltalamacchia if they sign Napoli, who is by trade a catcher.

Saltalamacchia hit 25 home runs last year, when his batting average dipped to .222. But the real issue may be gamecalling for Boston, whose pitching underperformed throughout 2012.

The Rays, Mets, Pirates, Yankees, Rangers, Mariners and White Sox are teams that may be in the market to add a catcher, though Chicago seems ready to go with Tyler Flowers should A.J. Pierzynski leave via free agency. The Braves could use a backup now, with Ross going to Boston.

 
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