The Red Sox would love to have Jarrod Saltalamacchia back next season, John Farrell explained during an appearance on WEEI's Salk and Holley show Wednesday afternoon.
But if the 28-year-old catcher is back in Boston, it won't be on a one-year $14.1 million qualifying offer. The Red Sox didn't extend him one.
“Absolutely he has a future here," Farrell said. "We’re engaging with him and I know [general manager Ben Cherington] has talked to his agent frequently here. Not just as free-agent season has opened up, but throughout the course of the remainder of the year and through the postseason. In this case, if people are understanding of the qualifying offer, it doesn’t put a drag on his market. In some ways, it may benefit Salty a little bit more than the other three guys where you’ve got to give up a first-round draft choice."
Though Saltalamacchia had a difficult postseason offensively, Farrell said that the Red Sox were encouraged by the development he made both at the plate and behind it in 2013.
“Salty had a great year when you consider how he turned around to, I think, become a more complete player,” Farrell said. “A guy that went from 24 home runs and high-teens doubles to 41 doubles and 13, 14 home runs, he raised his average about 40 points. He used the whole field a whole lot more consistently. He did a great job incorporating the game plan that [pitching coach] Juan Nieves and [bullpen coach] Dana Levangie put out and constructed for him. He had a very good year, and his best year as a player is also timely as he enters free agency.”