8:50pm: First baseman Pedro Alvarez has also opted out of his deal, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, who adds that outfielder Harold Ramirez will not exercise his out clause. Both Holaday and Alvarez have 48 hours to decide whether to go to Triple-A New Orleans, Frisaro notes. Alvarez has raked this spring with a .324/.400/.647 line in 34 at-bats, but the former star prospect hasn’t been much better than a league-average hitter across 3,321 major league PAs with the Pirates and Orioles. The 32-year-old struggled mightily across 127 PAs in Baltimore last season, when he hit a meager .180/.283/.414.
Holaday spent the 2018 campaign in Miami serving as the primary backup to star J.T. Realmuto, whom the team traded to the Phillies in the offseason. With Realmuto out of the picture, Holaday has been competing with Chad Wallach to work as a reserve behind Jorge Alfaro this season. But it appears Wallach has won the battle over Holaday, who hit .276/.364/.310 in 29 at-bats during spring training. That was an improvement over the .205/.261/.258 line Holaday authored over 166 PAs last year with the Marlins.
Offensive issues have been the norm for the 31-year-old Holaday, a .234/.274/.320 hitter in 606 PAs, though he has held his own at times behind the plate. Just last year, Holaday threw out a league-leading 45 percent of would-be base stealers (17 of 38) and, per Baseball Prospectus, offered above-average marks as a pitch framer and blocker.