By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- Crossing one potential salary arbitration case off the books, the Red Sox Thursday reached agreement on a one-year contract with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Saltalamacchia signed a non-guaranteed split deal, which will pay him 750,000 in the major leagues and 250,000 in the minors.
Saltalamacchia was obtained from the Texas Rangers last July 31 and played 10 games with the Red Sox before being shut down in the final two weeks of the season because of a thumb injury. He underwent surgery in Cleveland on Sept. 28 and is expected to be fully recovered by spring training.
With both Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez eligible for free agency and Kevin Cash outrighted last week, Saltalamacchia is the only catcher on the team's 40-man roster with significant major-league experience.
In limited playing time with the Red Sox in 2010, Saltalamacchia hit .158 with one RBI.
The remaining salary arbitration cases for the Sox: Closer Jonathan Papelbon, reliever Hideki Okajima and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
It's widely expected Okajima will be offered a substantial reduction from his 2010 salary of 2.75 milion or be non-tendered altogether, leaving the Sox with just two salary arbitration cases.
Both Cash and lefty reliever Rich Hill would have been eligible for salary arbitration, too, before the Sox outrighted both players last week.
The Sox have an interest in working out a deal with Hill, though probably on a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Outfielder Darnell McDonald underwent surgery on his right thumb Wednesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Phoenix. McDonald is expected to begin his rehab in a few weeks.