Red Sox notes: Saltalamacchia signs; McDonald has surgery

191542.jpg

Red Sox notes: Saltalamacchia signs; McDonald has surgery

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

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.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

cleveland-indians-andy-marte-killed-12217.jpg

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

kansas-city-royals-yordano-ventura-killed-12217.jpg

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.