Source: Sox made 2-year offer for Salty

ORLANDO -- The Red Sox have indeed made a two-year offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a baseball source said Thursday morning, contrary to what we were hearing Wednesday night. Sources said Wednesday that the Sox and the catcher had only discussed the parameters of a deal.

One source acknowledged that the Sox would prefer to bring back Saltalamacchia for just two years, and Saltalamacchia has strong interest in coming back, but will first determine if a deal for more years can be had elsewhere.

The Sox also have interest in former Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, with Brian McCann a long shot. The Texas Rangers have strong interest in McCann, according to one source.

Other Red Sox developments:

• The Sox have queried teams to determine what level of interest they have in their veteran starting pitchers, including John Lackey, who presumably would bring back more in return than either Jake Peavy or Ryan Dempster. Cherington said he has fielded numerous inquiries about the team’s roster of young pitching prospects, one of the most coveted commodities in the game.

"If we wanted to be involved in just about any trade discussion, because of the guys who might be available, we could be," he said. "I'm not sure we'll want to be involved in all of them. But we have a number of players asked about on the major league and prospect level.

"We're not far enough exactly to know exactly what they're going to be, so I guess the best way to integrate young pitching and find the next really good young pitchers for the Red Sox is just to keep all of them and see what happens. That said, we never say never to anything. If there's an idea that a team has, we're always going to listen to them."

• The prevailing sentiment here is that Mike Napoli will re-sign with the Sox; he was spotted at the Celtics game in Boston on Wednesday night. The Rangers, who had Napoli until he signed with the Red Sox last winter, have been mentioned as a potential contender for his services.

• If Napoli comes back, the Sox might have a potential trading chip in Mike Carp, whose strong performance in a reserve role last season should draw interest from clubs looking for first-base help. Carp, however, will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so the Sox may prefer to keep him as an affordable left-handed bat.

• As has been reported elsewhere, the Sox have a degree of interest in veteran right-hander Tim Hudson, should they move one of their other veteran starters.

• Cherington had high praise for Daniel Nava, saying his versatility and high on-base capacity make him a valuable piece.

• While expressing a hope that Jacoby Ellsbury returns, Cherington acknowledged the team is looking at its options if he doesn’t. Rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. projects to start in center field if Ellsbury leaves, although the Red Sox could look for a veteran option to buy Bradley more time.

“I don't think you find a carbon copy where you're exactly replacing the skills," Cherington said. "The challenge then is to try to make the team just as good in other ways. Make it up by being a little better in other areas. So that's what every team is working through. What available options are out there to make us stronger in as many areas as possible, so we can react to things that happen or don't happen.’’

• Red Sox closer Koji Uehara received one second-place vote and two third-place votes in balloting for the AL Cy Young Award, won by Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers. One of the third-place votes was cast by yours truly, one of two voters from the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

• Red Sox owner John W. Henry, here for the owners’ meetings, expressed bemusement that Terry Francona was elected AL Manager of the Year over John Farrell in voting by the baseball writers.

"You writers are a strange breed," Henry told John Tomase of the Boston Herald. "From where I sit, sometimes, it's strange. Now that I'm in your business (as owner of the Boston Globe) ... maybe I'll have a better understanding of how these relationships work."