Miami has announced the release of struggling catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Marlins were not able to find a trade partner for the recently-designated backstop, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Twitter. He will hit the open market after clearing release waivers.
The news rates as at least a mild surprise. Miami had hoped to find a team to pick up at least some of the approximately $6MM left on his 2015 salary, to say nothing of the $8MM owed next year. Several clubs were reported to be in talks with the Fish, but apparently none were willing to offer enough value to warrant a deal.
Salty is a virtual certainty to clear release waivers and reach free agency, given that any claiming team would need to take on his contract. That will afford the clubs with prior interest an opportunity to add him at a pro-rated portion of the league minimum salary.
It has been a swift fall from grace for Saltalamacchia, who like several recent free agents before him simply never panned out in Miami. He has slashed a meager .209/.310/.351 over his 468 plate appearances since joining the club, a far cry from his .243/.307/.455 output over four seasons with the Red Sox.
Despite his troubles on offense and generally poorly-regarded work behind the plate, Saltalamacchia has a rare track record of useful production from the left side of the plate. The switch-hitter managed a .707 OPS last year against right-handers, making him a potentially appealing platoon mate for multiple teams around the league.
While several young backstops (J.T. Realmuto, Austin Hedges, Blake Swihart) have been promoted in recent weeks, there is still a dearth of offensively-useful catchers in the game. Among those who have seen at least twenty turns at bat this year, just 19 have registered above-average batting production. Meanwhile, injuries to players such as Matt Wieters, Travis d’Arnaud, Ryan Hanigan, and Christian Vazquez have sapped the overall depth around the game.
They really didn’t have much leverage in trade talks, but it’s definitely marginally surprising they couldn’t work something minor out. He won’t be without a team for awfully long
The Arizona Diamondbacks should be the first team lined up. Jarrod might feel otherwise! It hurts to say that as a Dback fan.
If he’s struggling to find his swing and his defense hasn’t ever been good, why should the DBacks bother?
Everyone finds their swing at BoB. The Dbacks have zero catcher depth right now.
Lionel Bossman Craft
I hope the Red Sox pick him up.
Jay fan since 77
So do I, then their team will be even worse!
Lionel Bossman Craft
As a Yankee fan, that’s why I hope they get him lol.
Red Sox could really use his talents. Yes, maybe he struggled in Miami but he already knows the staff pretty well in Boston. Best case scenario for Boston in finding a backup/full-time catcher without rushing Blake Swihart.
Vandals Took The Handles
He knows the staff well?
How many of those guys are still left from 2 years ago? The Red Sox turn over their roster like it’s a fantasy league team.
And the pitchers don’t like pitching to him.
The Tigers should pick him up. He’d be a lot better than Alex Avila.
In what way?
Not defensively. Not offensively. What I am missing?
He strikes out even more than Avila, which is hard to do. At least Avila will give you a 13-15% walk rate to offset the high strikeouts and add in some good defense. Avila posted a .720 OPS against righties last year. Why swap him for Salty when Salty’s just going to give you roughly the same offense and be terrible defensively on top of that? Tigers already have to pay Avila’s contract.
But mostly I’m biased against major league catchers who wear knee savers.
Wait… Salty’s WORSE than Avila? Someone is WORSE than Avila?
Yan Gomes gets no love?
Vandals Took The Handles
The Mariners already have a lot of left-handed hitters, but a left-handed backup catcher to Mike Zunino would be a nice addition, especially considering he can’t be much worse than Sucre.
Seems somewhat appropriate for the Red Sox, but doesn’t play third base.
Why exactly would he need to play third base? to take the spot of the only player in the lineup hitting over 300? Pablo is hitting .330 actually and plays pretty good defense, so why should the Sox replace third base??? Just curious
Just referring to the recent odd claim of 3B Jimenez and obtaining Ramirez to begin with to play left. In addition, their overuse the past few years in placing all of their infielders in the outfield…Carp, Holt, Betts, Ramirez, etc.
Where salty will go it wont be the red Sox or the rangers
I think he’d be a good addition on the Angels if Carlos Perez doesn’t pan out in the short-term. They hold all his options and Iannetta has been struggling mightily at the plate.
Dbacks Angels RedSox Twins Pirates Reds…. He’d be an upgrade for some teams. Remember he went from WS team in Boston to the lowly Fins… Stanton makes that ball park look small.
I would sign with the cardinals as a backup option and have cruz as a utility player
I could see ATL picking him up and giving Betancourt more AAA time