The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the 2013 season, avoiding salary arbitration.
Saltalamacchia, 27, hit .222 with 25 home runs and 59 RBI in 2012. He led the Red Sox in home runs, the first catcher to do so since Carlton Fisk, who bashed 26 in 1973 and 1977.
The one big problem: Only eight of those 25 homers came in the second half. Saltalamacchia struggled greatly after the All-Star break with just a .658 OPS.
Another problem: Saltalamacchia’s catcher ERA was 4.88, ranking him 89th out of the 108 players to catch in a major league game this season.
Jon Lester’s ERA in 107 innings that Saltalamacchia caught was 5.62 compared to a 3.70 ERA in the 48 innings caught by Kelly Shoppach, who is known for his defense.
Clay Buchholz posted a 6.30 ERA in the 75.2 innings that Saltalamacchia caught compared to a 3.23 in the 78 innings caught by Shoppach, who was traded to the Mets during the season.
Saltalamacchia caught just 18 of 98 base stealers (18.4 percent).