Russell Martin vs. Jarod Saltalamacchia
Its no secret that the Red Sox weren't exactly happy with Saltalamacchia last year. He logged 358 at bats as the primary catcher, and ended with a .235 average with 16 homeruns and 56 RBI's. He had 26 passed balls and 83 stolen bases against him, both career highs, though in fairness the Red Sox did have a knuckleballer on their team. He also had a career high in strikeouts with 119 last year. All things considered, it was not the season the Red Sox hoped for as Victor Martinez' replacement.
Russell Martin had his first full season behind the plate since being hobbled by injuries since 2009. Some of his numbers were oddly similar to Saltalamacchia. A .237 average with 18 homeruns and 65 RBI's is what he finished with. Although Martin only had 4 passed balls, he also allowed 95 stolen bases (a career high). However, Martin drew twice the amount of walks as Saltalamacchia (50 vs. 24), and struck out far less (81 in 417 at bats for Martin, while Saltalamacchia struck out 119 times in 358 at bats). I would say that Saltalamacchia, who was coming from Texas and was now on a new team needed some time for adjustment, but Martin was also new, and he came from the National League where a greater need for adjustment would be needed.
So who gets the edge? I give it to Martin. Martin switched leagues and was coming off an injury and was able to be more productive than Saltalamacchia. I don't suspect his second season in pinstripes, in a contract year, will see him slow down. Barring injury, Martin will be a better offensive force than Saltalamacchia while providing similar defense.