BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox acquired struggling catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers on Saturday but failed to get any help for the bullpen that is their top priority heading into the stretch run.

“It is an empty feeling to come away empty-handed,” Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said, about two hours after the trading deadline passed without his acquiring any major league relievers. “But before we did something that we would regret for a long time, we felt this was the best course to ultimately help our 2010 club.”

In a series of minor trades that lacked the big splash of the moves made by the rival New York Yankees, the Red Sox got Saltalamacchia for two minor leaguers, a player to be named and cash. They also sent reliever Ramon Ramirez to the San Francisco Giants for pitching prospect Daniel Turpen.

Also, Boston designated outfielder Jeremy Hermida for assignment and selected outfielder Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Pawtucket. Left-hander Dustin Richardson was recalled from Pawtucket.

In other developments, Epstein said the team was due to talk to Mike Lowell, who was expected to be traded somewhere he could contribute. Lowell is batting .213 while getting just 80 at-bats this season.

Lowell declined to talk to reporters before leaving the clubhouse after the game.

Saltalamacchia, who was optioned to Triple-A, opened the season in Texas and went 1 for 5 in two games, including the winning hit in the opener.

But he was placed on the disabled list with a strained upper back; he went to Triple-A Oklahoma City and struggled to throw the ball back to the pitcher’s mound.

Epstein said Red Sox scouts have reported Saltalamacchia isn’t having trouble getting the ball back to the mound.