BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox understand that the San Diego Padres got a good discount on Will Middlebrooks in Friday’s trade that brought backup catcher Ryan Hanigan.

But as much as the Sox still have faith that Middlebrooks will find the consistent success that eluded him in Boston, the opportunity to grab a sure-bet in Hanigan was too good to pass up.

“We still believe in (Middlebrooks) – the last few years haven’t gone well but the talent is still in there,” Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington said on a conference call Saturday. “My guess is he’ll find a way to flourish in the big leagues. I’ll be rooting for him. It just so happened in this case that because of what we’re looking for in the catching position and we feel like Ryan checks all the boxes we’re looking for.

“To find that guy on this particular team, given how important we think this role is on this particular team, we were willing to pay a cost to do that. That came in the form of Will. Obviously we’re not trading Will at a particularly high point right now, we understand that. But hopefully this is an opportunity for him and we think it’s an opportunity for us, too.”

The Padres’ new and very busy general manager, A.J. Preller, had been speaking with Cherington off and on throughout the offseason about Middlebrooks, but there was no fit until the Padres pulled off a four-team deal that included Hanigan getting sent to them from Tampa Bay.

Once Hanigan, 34, became a Padre and the Red Sox recognized they had the perfect candidate to be their backup catcher, the deal came together quickly.

“We’ve been looking for a catcher, and if you look at all the criteria we look for in a catcher, (Christian) Vazquez being one catcher, who that second catcher would be, the criteria we look for, Ryan checks all the boxes,” said Cherington. “Very good defender, game caller, well-respected, a tough at-bat, certainly capable of playing a lot and has played a lot in certain seasons, and it didn’t matter to us that he was from the area, but that’s a nice bonus.”

For Hanigan, a graduate of Andover High in Massachusetts, this is an almost perfect scenario.

“I’m pumped – it’s going to be a little bit crazy, I’m sure, with our fans, friends and family around here, but at the same time it’s definitely a comfortable place to be,” said Hanigan. “I grew up here. My parents and sister all still live here. There are a bunch of nieces and nephews in the area. And I grew up watching the Red Sox, you can’t not do that around here. It’s the team. We were diehard growing up. All my nieces and nephews were a little bit jaded throughout the years when I was wearing a Cincinnati and Tampa Bay uniform. Now they’re pumped they can rock the Red Sox stuff with pride.”

CUBS: Jason Motte will be coming out of Chicago’s bullpen next year after the former Cardinals’ closer agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal.

And David Ross will be reunited with Jon Lester, according to multiple reports that the backup catcher agreed to a two-year deal worth $5 million.

The Cubs also claimed another former Red Sox catcher, Ryan Lavarnway, and A’s outfielder Shane Peterson off waivers.

EASTERN LEAGUE: The New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced the return of Manager Bobby Meacham, as well as the additions of former Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley, who was born in Portland, as pitching coach and Stubby Clapp as hitting coach.