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Red Sox, Saltalamacchia agree to $4.5 million

The SportsXchange

The Boston Red Sox announced Thursday that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed to a one-year contract.

The deal is worth $4.5 million, Saltalamacchia's agent, James Munsey, told ESPN Boston.

The deal means that Saltalamacchia avoids salary arbitration. The Red Sox have eight players still eligible for arbitration, including new closer Joel Hanrahan, reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

Boston also reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli. Saltalamacchia is rumored to be traded because of the Napoli deal, but the team plans to play Napoli at first base. Mauro Gomez and David Ortiz are the other first basemen on the Red Sox's roster. Ortiz is primarily a designated hitter.

Saltalamacchia will likely be the starter behind the plate, backed up by David Ross. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway will probably start the season at Class AAA Pawtucket or be traded.

Saltalamacchia had 25 home runs with an on-base percentage of .288 and an OPS of .742 in 2012.

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