By Jeff Louderback
Though his name has been circulated in trade rumors this offseason, Jarrod Saltalmacchia remains a member of the Boston Red Sox. On Thursday, the Red Sox avoided arbitration with Saltalamacchia and signed the switch-hitting catcher to a one-year, $4.5 million deal.
The 27-year-old Saltalamacchia belted 25 home runs last season and became the first Red Sox catcher to lead the club in home runs since Carlton Fisk ripped 26 in 1973 and 1977.
Saltalamacchia drove in 59 to accompany the 25 home runs, and he posted a .452 slugging percentage, but he also hit just .222 with a woeful .288 on-base percentage and struck out 139 times in 448 plate appearances.
Eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, Saltalamacchia could still be traded before spring training or opening day. The Red Sox have four other catchers – David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez – on the 40-man roster and Mike Napoli could see time behind the plate this season, though he will mostly play first base.