Just days after being put on release waivers by the Miami Marlins, veteran backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia has already found a new home. After clearing waivers today, the incumbent catcher is expected to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks as reported by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
The switch-hitting catcher was entering the second year of his three-year, $21 million deal he signed with the Marlins last offseason after a career year with the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. He had put up a career-high .273/.338/.466, .804 OPS and a career-high 40 doubles with the Red Sox in 2013. He then hit the open market and quickly found a new home in Florida when he joined the up-and-coming Marlins.
His first year with the Marlins was nothing short of a disappointment. He put up a meager .220/.320/.362 slash line for the 2014 campaign as well as striking out a whopping 143 times. It was a mess, plain and simple.
He only played in 9 games this year before the Marlins had clearly had enough of his poor production both at the plate and behind the dish. They immediately designated him for assignment and began seeking out trade proposals for the veteran catcher. Despite the amount of money left on his deal and the hefty investment, they were willing to cut bait by finding someone else to take him off their hands. Unfortunately they were unable to find a trade partner and had no choice but to release him at that point. By putting him on release waivers, unless a team had claimed him, they would be on the hook for the rest of the money remaining on his deal. Once he cleared waivers, any team could sign him for the veteran’s minimum. Ultimately the Diamondbacks have decided to take a flyer on him.
The D-Backs are in desperate need of some production from the catcher’s spot. Current starter Tuffy Gosewisch has struggled mightily at this point and despite his recent struggles, Salatalamacchia could be a much-needed addition. The hope is that that he can provide some left-handed pop in the lineup as the Diamondbacks are short on left-handed power at this point and Saltalamacchia has has always had better success against right-handed pitching as he has an overall .253/.326/.449 slash line against righties in his career.