BOSTON (AP) _ Kelly Shoppach and the Boston Red Sox have agreed
to a $1.35 million, one-year contract that brings the free-agent
catcher back to his original team.

The move Tuesday likely ends Jason Varitek’s 15-year tenure
behind the plate in Boston.

The 31-year-old Shoppach batted .176 with 11 homers and 22 RBIs
in 87 games last season, his second with Tampa Bay. But he showed a
strong arm on defense, throwing out 36.6 percent of runners trying
to steal.

The Red Sox drafted Shoppach in the second round in 2001 and
traded him to Cleveland in January 2006. He hit 21 homers for the
Indians in 2008 and is a .224 career hitter.

Shoppach joins Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate in Boston.
Saltalamacchia teamed last season with the 39-year-old Varitek, now
a free agent. Varitek batted.221 in 68 games and threw out 14
percent of attempted base stealers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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