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Salty wants to return to Red Sox.
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Everyone remembers the 2013 Red Sox World Series Champions with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

That curly haired rascal that was the full time backstop for some pretty darn good pitchers in Jon Lester and John Lackey to name just a few.

After winning that ring he was gone to free agency, signing a three-year, $21 million contract with the Marlins before the 2014 season. The veteran never gained traction with Miami, though, and the Fish ultimately turned to rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto this season while cutting ties with Salty.

What is the reason that the Miami Marlins swallowed $15 million Tuesday to release Saltalamacchia just 16 months after signing him?

He has been terrible.

Not just bad, but really bad.

Saltalamacchia is hitting .069 (2-for-29) this season with 12 strikeouts and a .389 OPS in just 9 games with 33 plate appearances. It's a continuation of last season’s struggles, when the 30-year-old hit .220 with a .681 OPS over 144 games and 435 plate appearances. His .362 slugging percentage in 2014 was the worst of any major league catcher with at least 435 plate appearances, in large because he produced just 11 home runs, his lowest total since 2010.

Remember he posted an .804 OPS with the Red Sox in 2013 and hit 25 homers in 2012, produces more offense with his next club than he did with Miami.

After all, it can’t get much worse.

On the defensive side of the metrics, Saltalamacchia leads all major league catchers with 17 errors since the beginning of 2014. He's thrown out just 19.4 percent of the runners who have attempted to steal against him in that span. His pitch-framing skills are well below average, with StatCorner.com’s statistics revealing him to be the worst pitch-framer in baseball last season.

Is that what the current struggling starting rotation needs? Missing even more strikes due to bad framing?

Also don't forget that he was also replaced in the 2013 postseason by David Ross for the same offensive and defensive struggles noted above.

So what are we to think when Saltalamacchia told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford via phone Wednesday he’d welcome a return to the Red Sox?

He needs a job and the Red Sox are missing their starting catcher for the year, the backup catcher until after the All-Star break and are running on an unproven Blake Swihart, right?

With a lack of offense and all the defensive downside to Salty, with the struggling starting rotation and with an offense that is not functioning the Red Sox won't see much upside to pulling him in as another backup catcher.

Would you?

Over at MLBtraderumors.com they have a podcast where Jim Munsey of Munsey Sports Management, the representative of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and other big leaguers, sat down with host Jeff Todd for today’s podcast. Munsey discusses his work for the just-released Saltalamacchia, including a busy last couple of days looking for a new home for his client.



Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

More by Eric D. Schabell

Eric D. Schabell 5/07/2015 11:00:00 AM Edit
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