Red Sox sign catcher Kelly Shoppach to one-year contract

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today signed catcher Kelly Shoppach to a one-year contract for the 2012 season.  No further terms were disclosed.  With the addition of Shoppach, the Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 39. 

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington. 

Shoppach, 31, appeared in 87 games with the Rays in 2011, including 71 starts behind the plate.  He threw out 36.6 percent of attempted base stealers (15 of 41), the second-best rate among qualifying Major League catchers.  The right-handed hitter went 39-for-221 (.176) at the plate with three doubles, 11 home runs, 22 RBI, 23 runs and 19 walks.  He hit four home runs in 11 September contests and batted .400 (4-for-10) with two homers and six RBI over Tampa Bay’s four Division Series games.

Selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Shoppach played four seasons in Boston’s system from 2002-05.  He made his Major League debut with the Red Sox in 2005 and appeared in nine games overall with Boston that year before he was traded to Cleveland on January 27, 2006.  He led all American League catchers with 21 home runs for the Indians in 2008 when he appeared in a career-high 112 games. 

Shoppach has posted a .224 average (289-for-1,288) with 71 doubles, 59 home runs, 180 RBI, 174 runs and 127 walks in 460 career Major League games over parts of seven seasons with the Red Sox (2005), Indians (2006-09) and Rays (2010-11).  He has hit at a .274 clip (114-for-416) vs. left-handed pitching and his career rate of 21.60 at-bats per home run ranks second among Major League catchers with at least 1,450 plate appearances since 2005 after Mike Napoli (15.24).  Shoppach has thrown out 67 of 252 attempted base stealers (26.6 percent) in his career and caught Matt Garza’s no-hitter with Tampa Bay in 2010.  He has also appeared in nine postseason games, including eight starts, batting .280 (7-for-25) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in those contests.