Red Sox sign C Flaherty to one-year contract

Updated: December 23, 2005, 12:46 PM ET

BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox plucked a player from the New York Yankees, although it's not quite retaliation for losing center fielder Johnny Damon.

The Red Sox on Friday signed John Flaherty, who served as a backup catcher with the Yankees for the last three years and as Randy Johnson's personal catcher in 2005.

The move comes on the same day the Yankees scheduled a news conference to announce the signing of Damon to a four-year deal worth $52 million. Damon spent the last four years with the Red Sox and helped them win the World Series for the first time in 86 years in 2004.

A veteran of 14 seasons, Flaherty returns to the team that drafted him in 1988. He made his major league debut with Boston in 1992.

Flaherty, 38, is a career .252 hitter with 80 home runs and 395 RBIs in 1,047 games with Boston (1992-93), Detroit (1994-96), San Diego (1996-97), Tampa Bay (1998-2002) and the Yankees (2003-05).

Last season, Flaherty hit .165 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 47 games. More than half of those games came when Johnson pitched for New York.

Flaherty became expendable when the Yankees signed catcher Kelly Stinnett, Johnson's former catcher in Arizona, as a free agent last month.

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