Red Sox, Jarrod Saltalamacchia avoid arbitration with one-year contract

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Saltalamacchia gets $4.5 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility after making $2.5 million last season while hitting .222 with 25 homers and a .742 OPS at age 27.

Saltalamacchia has shown a ton of power in two full seasons with the Red Sox, smacking 41 homers and 40 doubles in 763 at-bats, but he’s hit just .228 with a ghastly .288 on-base percentage.

He’s slated to platoon with free agent signing David Ross behind the plate this season, seeing most of his playing time versus right-handed pitching.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.

Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.

While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.