December 4th, 2013 at 11:58 AM
By Ron Juckett
As expected, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Boston Red Sox parted ways after the catcher signed a three-year deal with the Miami Marlins worth $21 million Tuesday night.
Saltalamacchia finally became for Boston what he could not do for either the Atlanta Braves or Texas Rangers, a decent everyday catcher with an average bat.
Was he good defensively? No, not at all. Saltalamacchia was below average in throwing out base runners and struggled early on with pitch calling. As bad as he was in throwing out those runners, he still was not as bad as Victor Martinez.
By the time 2013 rolled around, however, Saltalamacchia was the primary catcher for four of the five starting pitchers in the Red Sox rotation. In his three full seasons as the Red Sox catcher, he topped 100 games all three years and became a doubles machine this past season, hitting 40.
Making $4.5 million last year, Saltalamacchia not only earned the chance at a big payday, but the security that comes with a long-term deal. Boston was okay with giving him the money, but with two hot prospects close to major-league ready, they were willing to go no more than two years with any established catcher.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 4th, 2013 at 6:55 AM
By Ron Juckett
Jacoby Ellsbury is a member of the New York Yankees now after signing a seven-year deal Tuesday night worth $153 million. An option for an eighth year is in the contract that could push the value to $169 million.
For Boston Red Sox fans of a certain age, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Ellsbury, along with Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Jonathan Papelbon, formed the core of Red Sox farmhands that blossomed in the latter stages of the last decade. Only Pedroia and Lester now remain with the team.
During Ellsbury’s tenure, he set the franchise-record for stolen bases in a season with 70 in 2009 and nearly won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 (if the team had not collapsed…).
On the other hand, injuries cost Ellsbury all but 18 games in 2010 and half a season in 2012. Just four times in his six full seasons did he play in more than 100 games.
The Red Sox offered him extensions a number of times, but Ellsbury politely declined. After hiring Scott Boras as his agent before he even started his official rookie season, you knew he was looking forward to this—his first free agent pay day.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 3rd, 2013 at 10:17 PM
By Ron Juckett
Hours after the Boston Red Sox signed his replacement in A.J. Pierzynski, Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Miami Marlins Tuesday night. The contract will pay Saltalamachhia $21 million.
Arriving from the Texas Rangers during the 2010 season, Saltalamacchia was the primary catcher for three-and-a-half seasons, including a world championship this past year.
Saltalamacchia had his best offensive year this past season. Hitting a career-high average of .273, Saltalamacchia hit 14 home runs while driving in 65.
The writing had been on the wall about Saltalamacchia's future in Boston for awhile now. After being benched after his World Series Game 3 errant throw that allowed St. Louis Cardinal Allen Craig to score the winning run on a controversial obstruction call, Saltalamacchia did not pay again.
The Red Sox made it clear that even though they would like him back in 2014, they would not be giving any catcher more than a two-year deal.
Saltalamacchia, a free agent for the first time, wanted a longer deal and took the Marlins offer after A.J. Pierzynski signed with Boston Tuesday.
A Florida resident, the deal gives Saltalamacchia the security he wanted and the ability to stay close to home.Read more... Join the Conversation...
December 3rd, 2013 at 9:53 PM
By Ron Juckett
will be playing center field for the next seven years with the New York Yankees
Ellsbury agreed with the Bronx Bombers on a seven-year deal worth a reported $153 million. There is an option for an eighth year that could bring the total up to $169 million.
The 30-year-old Ellsbury played his entire career to date as a member of the Red Sox, book ending his stay with world championships in 2007 and 2013.
In six full seasons, Ellsbury stole 241 bases, including a career-high 70 in 2009. In 2011, he hit a career-high 32 homers and drove in 105 runs. If the Sox had not collapsed that September, he would have been the American League Most Valuable Player.
Not only do the Red Sox lose the one player they could least afford, they lose him to their biggest arch-rivals with the Yankees in a move that deeply upset Red Sox Nation.
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December 3rd, 2013 at 2:43 PM
By Ron Juckett
Tuesday’s signing of catcher A.J. Pierzynski
by the Boston
Red Sox is the beginning of what will be a turbulent month for the club and fans.
By the time Christmas rolls around, we should know the fate of all four frontline free agents and who their replacements are going to be. Rest assured, by the time general manager Ben Cherington finishes putting together the squad headed south for Spring Training, it will make sense.
In the short term? Not so much.
You need to be prepared for all four players—Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli—to leave. With Pierzynski on board, Saltalamacchia is gone. The only question remaining is where he will go, Minnesota or Miami. Ellsbury is headed where the money is best. Drew will go to a place that truly needs him and Napoli will go with the first team that gives him a concrete three-year package.
Is this a bad thing? Not at all.
After the boondoggle of 2012, the Red Sox decided that they were building for the future. They brought in good clubhouse guys like Napoli and Shane Victoriono to play and old friend John Farrell to run the team.Read more... Join the Conversation...