Saltalamacchia introduced by Marlins

Saltalamacchia introduced by Marlins
December 9, 2013, 3:45 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia was officially introduced by his new team, the Miami Marlins, Monday afternoon at the Winter Meetings and beyond the new uniform, presented a different look: Saltalamacchia shaved his beard and cut his hair.
Saltalamacchia agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Marlins on the same day that the Sox signed A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year, $8.25 million contract, effectively ending Saltalamacchia's stay with the Sox.
The Sox reportedly offered Saltalamacchia a two-year, $18 million deal to remain, but wouldn't go to a third season out of fear of blocking the development of two top catching prospects: Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.
"I loved my time there,'' said Saltalamacchia. "We had talked. We were in conversations up until the last day. I think the Marlins just came in and took over, the way they were treating me, the way they put it out there to me.
"Looking at the young pitching staff and their young players, I don't  think there was any other choice but the one I had to make and that was coming to (Miami).''
Saltalamacchia admitted that he was somewhat surprised the Sox weren't more aggressive in attempting to re-sign him.
"On my side, I was a little bit,'' he said. "But at the same time, they're in a little different situation. I don't know what their plans are for the future. I understand a lot goes into (the decision), so I wasn't hurt by it. I'm in a good place and at the end of the day, that's what's important.''
In the final three games of the World Series, Saltalamacchia was benched in favor of David Ross and it was hard not being in the lineup when the Sox defeated St. Louis at home to win at Fenway for the first time in 95 years.
"It was tough,'' he said, "but I think it was more tough because I wasn't sure if that was the last time I was going to wear a Red Sox jersey. I think back and it's fortunate that I was able (to play for a team with a lot of history and tradition) and I enjoyed getting ready to run on the field (to celebrate).''
Saltalamacchia was the only one of the team's four prime free agents who didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Sox. But he didn't necessarily see that as a signal that he was through in Boston.
"I assumed I wasn't going to get a qualifying offer,'' said Saltalamacchia. "As a free agent, it's almost better not to get it. You don't have to worry about the first-round pick (being lost by the signing team). I was prepared for us not to get it. I didn't feel like that was the end. I thought there was still an opportunity, a chance (to come back), but it just never happened.''