The Marlins have agreed to re-sign veteran catcher Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. He’ll be invited to Major League Spring Training and again compete for a roster spot.
Holaday, 31, spent the 2018 season as the primary backup to star catcher (and trade candidate) J.T. Realmuto. The well-traveled veteran appeared in 61 games for Miami and tallied 166 plate appearances, though he struggled considerably, hitting just .205/.261/.258 in that time.
Holaday has long struggled to get on base, but his defensive contributions in 2018 were readily apparent. He threw out a league-leading 45 percent of would-be base thieves (17-for-38) and, per Baseball Prospectus, delivered above-average marks in terms of both pitch framing and blocking.
Chad Wallach is the only catcher other than Realmuto who is presently on the Marlins’ roster, so they’ll need some additional depth whether Realmuto is traded or retained. In the event of a trade, it’s unlikely that Holaday would be in line for regular work in Miami — he’s never topped 171 PAs in a big league season — but he’ll likely be in the race for a roster spot regardless of how Miami’s offseason shakes out.