The Marlins announced Friday that veteran catcher Bryan Holaday cleared waivers and has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A New Orleans. He’ll be free to sign with any club this winter.
Holaday, 32 next month, has spent the past two seasons in the Marlins organization. The veteran backup took a backseat to young Jorge Alfaro in Miami this season but was productive when he got the call, hitting .278/.344/.435 in 129 plate appearances. That production is demonstrably better than Holaday’s typical output, however, as evidenced by his lifetime .241/.287/.340 line through 735 MLB plate appearances between Detroit, Texas, Boston and Miami.
Defensively, Holaday has been average or better in terms of controlling the running game throughout his MLB career, as his 30 percent caught-stealing rate checks in a bit north of the 28 percent league average over his Major League tenure. He typically draws above-average marks for his pitch-blocking skills but has long been regarded as a slightly below-average framer (positive marks in 357 innings with the Marlins in 2018 notwithstanding). Catching depth is seemingly always in demand throughout the league, so Holaday will have his share of interested teams, though he’ll likely have to settle for a minor league pact and an invite to MLB camp — be it with the Marlins or a new organization.