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Boston Red Sox Lose Jarrod Saltalamacchia

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.

With the Marlins, Saltalamacchia receives a very comfortable deal.

His presence in the clubhouse will be a bonus and can pass along what it takes to win a championship to a perpetually young ball club. Make no mistake, Saltalamacchia learned how to be a catcher in Boston. No one will confuse him with Jason Varitek or Carlton Fisk, but more often than not, Saltalamacchia did not embarrass himself.

Yes, he struck out too much. Oh yes, his not-so-smart decision to try and double off the hobbled Allen Craig in Game 3 of the World Series in St. Louis set up one of THE most bizarre endings in postseason sports history, but he was an integral part of a team that won a championship.

What you should remember him most for was something that happened nowhere near a baseball diamond.

When Jonny Gomes stepped out of his duckboat during the World Series parade to place the pair of 617 Boston Strong jerseys and the trophy on the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Saltalamacchia was the other player that joined and stood beside him during one of the most emotional moments in the city of Boston’s history.

Knowing full well that he was not returning to play in the city as a Red Sox player again, Saltalamacchia chose to stand and honor the city and her people. That makes up in spades his World Series performance.

Losing any of the 25 players that were on the World Series roster is going to be hard for the Fenway Faithful to accept. On the other hand, Saltalamacchia had earned the right to play baseball on his terms and not be pushed out after a season or two.

The financial security, long-term stability and being close to home and his children are all reasons to applaud Saltalamacchia as he moves on.

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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami Marlins, MLB

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