After Damon departs, Boston lures catcher from N.Y.

Updated: December 23, 2005, 11:42 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Red Sox agreed to terms with catcher John Flaherty on a one-year contract Friday.

John Flaherty
Flaherty

Terms of the deal were not announced, but a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that the deal would pay Flaherty $650,000.

Flaherty would get an additional $100,000 payment if he is on Boston's opening day major league roster.

Boston needed a backup to Jason Varitek after trading Doug Mirabelli to San Diego for second baseman Mark Loretta on Dec. 7. Mirabelli was knuckleballer Tim Wakefield's catcher, a role that likely will go to Flaherty if he makes the team.

The 38-year-old Flaherty batted .165 with two homers and 11 RBI last season, when he caught Randy Johnson's final 17 regular-season starts plus his outing against the Los Angeles Angels in the playoffs. New York replaced him last month with Kelly Stinnett.

Flaherty began his major league career with the Red Sox, playing in a total of 48 games in 1992 and 1993. He moved on to Detroit, San Diego and Tampa Bay before joining the Yankees in 2003. In each of the last two seasons, Flaherty appeared in 47 games with 127 at-bats. He has a .252 career average with 80 homers and 395 RBI in 1,047 games.

The Red Sox lost Johnny Damon, who agreed Tuesday to a $52 million, four-year contract with the Yankees after batting .316 last season with 10 homers and 75 RBI in 148 games.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press