According to a report by NESN.com on Sunday, the Boston Red Sox have reached a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, locking up their backstop for the 2012 season and avoiding salary arbitration.
This is a non-guaranteed contract, and the full details of the deal were not disclosed. This is a wise signing by the Red Sox. Salty has been a nice fit in Boston, and this deal will bring him back for his second full season in the Hub.
Offensively, his figures have not been eye-popping, but they have been sufficient from the catching position. In his 113 games with the Sox, he managed a .231/.292/.443/.735 batting line with 87 hits, 16 home runs and 57 RBI—84/16/54 of which came in the 2011 season, where he played 103 games platooning with Jason Varitek.
Looking at all American League catchers with a minimum of 375 plate appearances, Salty finished eighth in home runs, ninth in RBI, 10th in batting average and sixth in both slugging percentage and OPS.
For the Sabermetricians out there, Salty finished sixth in runs created per 27 outs, fourth in isolated power and fourth in at bats per home run.
In 2011 he was ranked third among American League catchers, having thrown out 28 runners attempting to steal.
To say that he was a big part of the offense is a fallacy, but he is a contributor that the team has been high on since he was in the Atlanta Braves organization.
It will be interesting to see how the 26-year-old continues his development in Boston during the 2012 season.