Buck could be Plan B for Red Sox behind the plate

In case the Red Sox can’t resign Victor Martinez — and they’ll certainly give that a concerted effort — one potential option is free-agent catcher John Buck. And according to ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox are “expected to be aggressive in their pursuit” of Buck if Martinez isn’t a possibility.

The Web site named the Tigers, Orioles and Rangers as teams that would go after Martinez. The free-agent pool of catchers is actually pretty deep this year, with Rod Barajas, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird and A.J. Pierzynski among those also in the mix.

If Boston can’t resign Martinez, Jason Varitek would of course have a strong chance of returning also. And there are some who believe perhaps Jarrod Saltalamacchia should be given an opportunity to take the full-time reigns behind the plate. But Buck would be the safer — though more expensive — choice.

After signing a $2 million contract with the Blue Jays last offseason, Buck had a breakout year in 2010, one that saw him set career-highs in batting average (.281), home runs (20) and RBIs (66) while throwing out 28 percent of baserunners (third-highest among AL catchers who qualified).

Alden Gonzalez

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