While the Boston Red Sox reportedly aren’t considering signing Saltalamacchia, who’s a free agent, the 30-year-old catcher told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford via phone Wednesday he’d welcome a return to the organization he won a World Series with in 2013.
“I was definitely hoping to come back (to Boston),” Saltalamacchia told Bradford. “Some of my best memories in baseball are there, and family-wise. My kids pretty much grew up there. We had our third child there. It’s definitely a place that means a lot to me.
“I was definitely hoping for a reunion, but I understand their situation with (Blake) Swihart. I can completely respect that. As a player, you appreciate something like that, when a team has a homegrown, young guy they want to give an opportunity to. That’s what every player hopes for and wants, that opportunity to prove himself.”
Saltalamacchia spent three-plus seasons with the Red Sox after Boston acquired the backstop from the Texas Rangers at the 2010 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline. He first worked under captain Jason Varitek and then emerged as the Red Sox’s top catching option in 2011.
It was a mostly productive Red Sox tenure for Saltalamacchia. He hit 25 homers in 2012 and posted an .804 OPS in 2013 before signing a three-year, $21 million contract with the Marlins in free agency 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.
“Obviously you lose a lot of sleep when this happens,” a surprised Saltalamacchia told Bradford of his release. “I was obviously ready to get back and ready to go from Day 1. It was really early in the season, so it wasn’t like I was worn down or needed a rejuvenation.
“But it clears your head a little bit, and I’ve had some time to do that. I’m blessed. I’ve got four kids and a wife that deals with all this B.S. and doesn’t give me a hard time about it.”
The Red Sox seemed like a potential, albeit imperfect, fit for Saltalamacchia with Ryan Hanigan sidelined until after the All-Star break following surgery on his fractured right hand. The Red Sox already lost starting catcher Christian Vazquez to Tommy John surgery at the tail end of spring training.
Boston appears content proceeding with rookie Blake Swihart and backup Sandy Leon, though. Salty’s probably not going to walk through the Fenway Park doors, as much as he would like to.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP