In an effort to add depth at catcher and potentially alter their future plans at the position, the Red Sox acquired Texas Rangers backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia for two minor leaguers, a player to be named later and cash considerations.
Saltalamacchia — who has spent almost the entire season in Triple-A to work on his issues throwing the ball back to the pitcher, a la Mackey Sasser back in the day — was highly touted coming up through the Atlanta Braves system before being traded to Texas in the Mark Teixeira deal exactly three years ago to the day.
The 25-year-old is a career .251 hitter with 23 home runs in 240 games with the Braves and Rangers.
Early in 2010, he began to have problems throwing the ball back to the pitcher and after just two games with Texas was sent down to iron out his issues. He reportedly has made some strides in that department and is hitting .244 with 11 home runs for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
With Martinez, who is in a contract year, just returning from a broken left thumb, Jason Varitek still several weeks from returning from a broken foot and a host of fill-ins providing next to nothing offensively, the Red Sox get another option in the system in Saltalamacchia.
However, this is a move that may have larger ramifications down the road if the club decides not to re-sign Martinez or to let David Ortiz go, re-sign Martinez and move him to designated hitter. The organization has been eyeing Saltalamacchia for some time, both before and after the Martinez acquisition, so this is a player they have liked before their catching situation became a bit messy.
The Rangers get back Chris McGuiness, who was hitting .298 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs in 78 games at Single-A Greenville, and right-handed starter Roman Mendez, who went 2-5 with a 6.56 ERA between Greenville and Lowell this year.