As the Los Angeles Dodgers await word from Jon Lester and continue to field calls on Matt Kemp, they moved forward Friday with yet another minor roster move.
Days after Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi indicated he was open to utilizing a tandem behind the plate, the team announced they claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Boston Red Sox and designated Drew Butera for assignment.
This marks the second time the new Dodgers regime has claimed a player off waivers. The first was infielder Ryan Jackson, who was traded 23 days later to the Kansas City Royals.
Butera was one of seven players tendered by the Dodgers earlier in the week and didn’t have any options remaining. Selected in the sixth round by the Red Sox in the 2008 draft, Lavarnway, 27, spent the majority of last season with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, though was limited by a strained wrist.
Of the 62 Triple-A games Lavarnway appeared in last season, 15 were behind the plate and 31 were as a first baseman. In his third stint with Pawtucket, Lavarnway hit .283/.389/.370 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. While splitting time at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2011, Lavarnway hit a career-best 32 home runs. However since that point, he’s hit just 15 home runs.
Dating back to 2011, Lavarnway has also seen time with the Red Sox. He appeared in a career-high 46 games in 2012 but hit just .157/.211/.248. In 97 total games and spanning across four years at the Major League, Lavarnway’s career slash is .201/.249/.315.
None of the 27 year old’s nine games played with the Red Sox in 2014 were at catcher — he appeared in six as a first baseman and three as a designated hitter. His last time behind the plate in Boston came in 2012 when he allowed six passed balls in 164.0 innings.
Should he clear waivers, Butera could accept a Minor League assignment or opt to become a free agent. He joined the Dodgers in July of 2013 and appeared in 65 games with the team. Lavarnway was added to the 40-man roster and gives the Dodgers another catcher who is out of options.