AMHERST, Mass. -- On Wednesday, catcher David Ross was signed to a two-year contract through the 2014 season. The Red Sox now have a glut of catchers: Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway. Reports connect the Red Sox to the pursuit of free-agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli as well. General manager Ben Cherington on Tuesday indicated that, although the Red Sox already had two able bodies at catcher -- more than they can say at other positions -- they felt they had room to do better.
"We're really just trying to strengthen the position," Cherington said. "We know that there's -- we lost 93 games, so we're trying to strengthen all areas of the team, not just the ones that sort of seem more obvious." Ross had a 3.56 catcher's ERA in 2012. That's better than Saltalamacchia's 4.84 and Lavarnway's 5.75, but Lavarnway had just 25 starts behind the plate. That's not a precise measurement, though: Evaluating catchers' ability behind the plate requires a lot of subjectivity. "[There are] sort of obvious measurements, throwing out runners and things like that," Cherington said. "As far as the impact a catcher has on pitching, pitch-calling and balls and strikes, other elements, it's something we spend a lot of time on, but I can't say that we have figured it out to any exact science."