Lavarnway has 429 ABs at AA with a slash of .284/.375/.503 and 631 ABs at AAA with a slash of .295/.382/.511. He's been given all the time in the minors he should need at this point. If they trade Salty they're breaking camp with Lavarnway penciled in as the starting catcher 3 out of 5 games or better. I think it would take Lavarnway struggling mightily at least until early June before we see Napoli making regular starts at catcher. If they're really concerned about Lavarnway they should look to trade him now instead of Salty, but I don't believe that to be the case.
We signed David Ross, but I think Salty is on his way out, and Lavarnway put up a .450 OPS in 150 ABs last season.
Lavarnway is the C of the future, but I wonder whether that future will begin in April 2013, or whether they'll break camp with a Napoli/Ross platoon at C and bring up Lavarnway when he's considered ready. (Obviously this could depend upon the additional moves made this offseason, the health of the parties involved, and potentially upon Training Camp performances of Lavarnway, Sands, Gomez and others)
Kind of have to don't we? As long as they're willing to pay the highest price for him at least, which seems plausible. The only way you do it is if the returning player has meaningful value though, if it's a C grade prospect no matter what you can send him somewhere else just as easily.
Do you consider soon a deal with the Yankees for Salty? I do. One, as noted the market is dry for catching and this is a position or strength for the Sox. Two, Salty has power -- but isn't exactly Jorge Posada back there (and his defense is perhaps a bit questionable). Three, yes, they're our "rivals" and will hit a few homers against us, but unless he blossoms into a player he hasn't been to date (he's 27, IIRC), the guy is unlikely to "come back and haunt us." Four, this is perhaps a down year for both ballclubs. Obviously it all hinges on what we're getting back but if you're ever going to do a deal with the Dev--, er, Yankees, now is the time.