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.”