9:23pm: The Red Sox have announced the signing in a press release. Crasnick tweets that Shoppach can also earn another $400K in performance bonuses, raising the potential value of the deal to $1.75MM.
9:35am: The Red Sox have agreed to sign Kelly Shoppach to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). The deal will be announced today, Crasnick reports.
Shoppach, 31, hit just .176/.268/.339 in 253 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011, but he led the American League by preventing 41% of stolen base attempts. The Red Sox selected Shoppach in the second round of the 2001 draft. He made his MLB debut with the 2005 Red Sox before Boston shipped him to Cleveland in the Coco Crisp deal. The Rays declined Shoppach's option after the 2011 season and signed Jose Molina soon afterward.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia figures to be Boston's primary catcher in 2012 and with Ryan Lavarnway and Luis Exposito also on the 40-man roster, it doesn't appear that the Red Sox have room for longtime backstop Jason Varitek. The 39-year-old switch hitter posted a .221/.300/.324 line in 250 plate appearances this past season.