Report: Red Sox 'thought they had a deal' for this catcher originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Add Jacob Stallings to the list of players the Boston Red Sox apparently were "in on" before the MLB lockout halted offseason activity Wednesday night.
The Miami Marlins acquired the veteran catcher from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in exchange for a major-league pitcher and two prospects.
According to the Miami Herald, however, the Red Sox were briefly under the impression that Stallings would be coming to Boston.
The Red Sox "also made an offer for Stallings and at one point thought they had a deal," the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson and Craig Mish wrote in their notes column Thursday. "But the Marlins landed him by including pitching prospect Kyle Nicolas in their bid, along with pitcher Zach Thompson and outfield prospect Connor Scott."
It sounds like Boston had serious interest in adding a catcher, and the 31-year-old Stallings would have provided Gold Glove defense along with serviceable offense (.246 batting average with eight home runs and 53 RBIs in 2021).
Christian Vazquez is under contract through 2022 and should be Boston's starting catcher next season, but he's coming off his worst defensive season (just 25% of runners thrown out), so Stalling would have provided a nice defensive complement behind the plate.
The Red Sox locked up backup catcher Kevin Plawecki on a one-year contract two days after Miami landed Stallings, which apparently was no coincidence as Chaim Bloom went to "Plan B" after his reported offer to Stallings fell through.
What's next on Bloom's to-do list remains to be seen, and we'll have to wait until MLB and the players' union agree on a new collective bargaining agreement to find out.