Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Red Sox: ‘It would be nice to have them call’
|11.05.13 at 8:13 am ET|
Talking on The Bradford Files podcast Monday, Jarrod Saltalamacchia expressed some frustration that the Red Sox hadn’t reached out to negotiate a new contract. (To listen to the podcast, click here.)
Saltalamacchia is a free agent, and he did not receive a qualifying offer by the Red Sox prior to Monday afternoon’s deadline. The Sox did extend qualifying offers to Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury, allowing each of those players the opportunity to accept a one-year, $14.1 million deal for 2014.
“Obviously a lot of teams have already called,” Saltalamacchia said. “They called the day the World Series ended. It’s really flattering and it makes me realize other teams do appreciate what I’ve done. Now on the other side, it would feel good if the Red Sox … we really haven’t had any conversation with them. It would be nice to have them call and appreciate that as well and show their appreciation by saying, ‘This is what we’re willing to do. We’re willing to go to this, that and the other thing.’ We really haven’t had discussions, but they may call and do that, so maybe I’m premature in saying this. But that’s part of the process and you have to keep an open mind and the same time you have to be humbled enough to realize you’re taking good criticism with the bad criticism and let it play out.
“I’m a little surprised with not more conversation going on just because I thought we had a common idea of where we wanted to be. I put so much time and effort into the team and into the organization and they’ve done the same for me. But like I said, I may be premature and they might call out of nowhere, or might have already called and I just don’t know yet.”
By not receiving a qualifying offer, Saltalamacchia figures to garner more interest in the free agent market with teams not having to surrender a draft pick if they sign the 28-year-old.
“I’m not going to be hurt by anything or surprised by anything,” the catcher said about not receiving a qualifying offer. “I’m a ballplayer, I’m going to go play and let everything take care of itself.”
Saltalamacchia turned in his best all-around season in 2013, finishing with an .804 OPS, 14 home runs, 40 doubles and a .273 batting average. He also made noticeable strides defensively, dropping his catching ERA to under 4.00 (3.86 for the first time in his career).
The switch-hitter delivered one of the biggest hits of the postseason, a walk-off single in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. He did, however, slump in the World Series and was benched for the final three games.
Saltalamacchia, who has been with the Red Sox since being acquired from the Rangers midway through the 2010 season, admitted his preference is to remain with the organization.
“I think it is difficult if you do ultimately have to leave,” he said. “I was there for four years and that was my family’s home. Going to Fenway Park every day, I truly know how lucky I was to be able to do that. In a sense it makes the decision tough, but at the end of the day it’s really not up to me. It is and it isn’t. Yeah, I want to go back there, but if the Red Sox aren’t willing to make an offer I can’t really make them make an offer. I’ve always said that if it’s close, yeah, my decision is going to be to Boston. That’s where my ties are and that’s where I want to be. But that’s not my decision.”
Regarding going through his first contract year, Saltalamacchia said: “I didn’t allow it to affect me during the season. I’m one of those guys who is a realist, but at the same time I don’t think about the consequences or the future or anything like that. I think it’s fair to my teammates to work on what’s going on at the time and allow whatever is going to happen to take care of itself. So I didn’t think about, ‘OK, I need to do this in order to work this kind of angle.’ I just played the game and now I’m seeing the side of it where, man, I didn’t think about this during the season. I’m seeing it now, but I didn’t think about it during the season.”
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