With the playoffs paused until Friday night, the Red Sox swooped in to fill the news void announcing that they had inked one of their catchers to a new contract. But the announcement on Victor Martinez' status will wait for another day. Today's deal was a one-year, non-guaranteed, two-way contract for Jarrod Saltalamacchia that will pay the twenty-five year old $750,000 if he makes the Red Sox 25-man roster, and $250,000 if he's assigned to one of the Red Sox minor-league clubs.
The deal averts arbitration in Saltalamacchia's first year of eligibility. He made $418,580 last season, playing but a dozen games in the big leagues, ten with the Red Sox and a pair with the Rangers. His new deal represents a 79.2% raise over 2010. Saltalamacchia was dealt to Boston in the final announced trade on the July 31st deadline. The Rangers picked up three minor leaguers and cash for the former catcher of the future.
Saltalamacchia's big league season fits the definition of a small sample size, with only 30 plate appearances and a .167/.333/.292 batting line between his two stops. His career major league numbers paint a brighter picture, but also indicate that he has failed to fulfill the promise of his talent. In 899 career plate appearances between Atlanta, Texas and Boston his batting line is .248/.315/.386, with 23 home runs. In the minors, he's produced a line of .271/.366/.458 in his 1911 plate appearances.
The signing is the first announced of the arbitration eligible players. Stick with the Biz of Baseball as we watch the arbitration scoreboard with the most in depth coverage and analysis of the process. Click here to read the Red Sox full announcement regarding the signing.
RED SOX AGREE TO TERMS WITH CATCHER JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the 2011 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Terms were not disclosed.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Saltalamacchia, 25, was acquired by the Red Sox from the Texas Rangers on July 31 and went 3-for-19 (.158) with three doubles, an RBI, two runs scored and six walks in 10 games with Boston this season. He appeared in six games behind the plate with the Red Sox, including five starts, before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb on September 28. The switch-hitting catcher also played in two games for Texas in 2010 and combined to hit .248 (68-for-274) with 12 homers and 39 RBI in 72 Triple-A contests between the Rangers and Red Sox organizations.
Selected by Atlanta in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Saltalamacchia has hit .248 (202-for-813) with 41 doubles, 23 home runs, 95 RBI and 102 runs scored in 250 career Major League games over parts of four seasons with the Braves (2007), Rangers (2007-10) and Red Sox (2010). He has made 191 career appearances behind the plate, including 182 starts, posting a .984 fielding percentage (20 errors/1,242 total chances) while throwing out 31 of 175 attempted base stealers.
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