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Saltalamacchia avoids arbitration with Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) -- Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2 million.

Saltalamacchia, who hit .222 with 25 home runs and 59 RBIs last season, avoided salary arbitration with Thursday's agreement. The contract is not guaranteed.

Saltalamacchia became the first catcher to lead the Red Sox in home runs since Carlton Fisk, who hit 26 in 1973 and again in 1977.

Acquired by Boston from Texas on July 31, 2010, Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter who set a career high for games last year with 121.

Eight Red Sox remain in arbitration: outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury; right-handers Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard and Joel Hanrahan; and left-handers Craig Breslow, Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales.

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