Saltalamacchia happy to join hometown Marlins
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hopes to stick around with the Miami
Miami went on a spending spree after the 2011 season and added
All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. When that didn’t
lead to success, the Marlins jettisoned most of their stars and cut
payroll to about $42 million this year.
Now Miami is in addition mode again, agreeing last week to a $21
million, three-year contract with the catcher, who helped Boston
win the World Series title. The Marlins don’t give no-trade
clauses, so another sell-off always is a possibility if Miami fails
to improve on this year’s 62-100 record and last-place finish in
the NL East.
”I was never really worried about anything but things that I
can control,” Saltalamacchia said Monday when he was introduced at
the winter meetings. ”I can control the way I go out there and
prepare for a game. I can control my preparation and my plan of
attack of every hitter, every at-bat. So I was never really focused
on anything other than what I can control and my teammates.”
In his third and final season with the Red Sox, Saltalamacchia
hit a career-best .273 with 15 homers, 40 doubles and 65 RBIs. But
he slumped to .188 in the postseason and was benched for the final
three games of the World Series.
”He cares about the guy on the mound. I think he embodies
everything you’re looking for in a catcher,” Red Sox manager John
Farrell said. ”He worked hard at shortening up his transfer time,
shortening up on becoming a little more efficient in his blocking.
At the same time, he’s working on two different swings. There is a
lot on his plate. You know, to his credit he was able to see what
his market was.”
Saltalamacchia, also pursued by Minnesota, gets $6 million next
year, $7 million in 2015 and $8 million in 2016, the highest-paid
player on a team that ranked 29th this year in salaries, ahead of
only the Houston Astros.
As Saltalamacchia’s wife and three young daughters looked on,
Marlins President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill called Salty ` a
proven winner and a leader.”
The 28-year-old Saltalamacchia grew up north of Miami in the
Palm Beach area.
”This was a perfect fit,” he said. ”The Marlins made it known
that I was a big part of their organization going forward, and they
wanted me to be a part of it. Watching these guys on TV, all these
young arms, and just getting really excited about that. But I loved
my time in Boston. I had a great time with those guys. Still talk
to them. They’re going to be friends for life. But in this business
there’s always things that happen.”