Season Review: Jarrod Saltalamacchia


2012 confirmed the findings of 2011. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is who he is, and the Red Sox are reluctant to stick with him for much longer.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a man in limbo.

We have heard that Ben Cherington wants to trade him. We have seen Cherington bring in David Ross, attempt to add Mike Napoli (we'll see), and even talk to Russell Martin in his attempts to manipulate the catching market. Now that the rest of the league's available backstops have been snatched up, it's time to see whether or not there's a market for Salty, and if Cherington will take that final step and send him elsewhere.

How did we get to this point? Simple: confirmation. In 2011, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hinted, for a while, that there might be something more to him. An amazing summer saw him rise to new heights, only to be pulled back to earth as his free-swinging ways caught up to him. Still, those few months left the team at least a little curious, and with relatively little in terms of financial flexibility last year, they elected to hold onto Salty for one more go.

Sure enough, come June 15 Salty had a .910 OPS, and sure enough come October 3rd it was all the way down to .742.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is who he is. He's a catcher who is serviceable if below-average behind the plate. He can hit for power, and hitting for anything is rare in a catcher, but he's not actually a good offensive player as evidenced by his back-to-back .319 wOBAs. He will give you bursts which fans will love, but so very many outs that anyone watching over the course of his whole season will start to tire of all the bad hacks and wasted at bats.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is who he is, and to some teams, that player has a lot of value. Even to the Red Sox, whose goal should be to have good players at every position, Salty brings something to the table. But he's got one year left before free agency, and it's not a huge surprise that this last season, which so confirmed the findings of 2011, has convinced them to look elsewhere for 2013 if they can, and in the future for certain.

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