By John Perrotto
The Sports Xchange
ORLANDO, Fla. -- After spending last winter slashing their payroll, the Miami Marlins signed free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year, $21 million contract on Monday.
The sides agreed to terms last week and officially announced the signing during the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.
It is a homecoming for Saltalamacchia, a native Floridian from Palm Beach County, who will be asked to work with a Marlins' starting rotation in which each of the five starters figure to be 25 or younger next season.
"I can't thank the Marlins organization, the ownership, coaches. I can't be in a better situation," Saltalamacchia said. "I'm excited about these young arms to be able to go out there and have them make me look good, like a lot of the pitchers did this past year."
The 28-year-old switch-hitter helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series this year, though he lost playing time to backup catcher David Ross late in the postseason. During the regular season, Saltalamacchia hit .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 121 games.
He is a .246 career hitter with 78 homers in seven seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2007), Texas Rangers (2007-10) and Red Sox (2010-13).
The Marlins have also come to terms with two other free agents in the last few days: first baseman Garrett Jones, for two years and $7.75 million, and infielder Rafael Furcal, for one year and $3 million.
The moves come a year after the Marlins traded left-hander Mark Buehrle, right-hander Josh Johnson and shortstop Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays and closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks.