After a day filled with rumor and source checking, it has finally been confirmed that the Marlins have signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia. According to sources, Saltamacchia signed a 3 year, 21 million dollar contract pending a physical.
Sources: #Marlins, Saltalamacchia agree on three-year, $21M contract, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2013
I have to admit, I have been a little bit skittish about signing Saltalamacchia. If you read my reviews, I gave it a 40 percent chance of happening, but didn’t feel that it was a very good idea. I questioned his ability to hit left-handed pitching and also his defense, in particular, throwing out runners.
That being said, I really anticipated him receiving a contract that was at least 10 million a year for 4 or 5 years. After some discussion with Senior Editor Ehsan Kassim, I have to admit that I like this signing a lot more when looking at the actual cost. ZIPS projects Salty to post a WAR of 5.9 over the course of the entire contract. That works out to about 4 million dollars per WAR, certainly acceptable.
I also like the length of the contract. We don’t saddle ourselves for 4 plus years if the situation turns sour. This also gives us some flexibility at the catcher position. We can let Rob Brantly get continued work in triple A without him feeling rushed to get to the majors, and if he ends up being a bust, it’s not the end of the world.
If Saltalamacchia ends up playing well and earning an extension, and Brantly seems to figure things out in triple A, the Marlins would then have a valuable trade chip to acquire more talent.
Count me in as one of the fans who are now excited about what Salty brings to the table. Maybe he can talk to Mike Napoli and do some recruiting for us! Keep checking in for more updates and coverage.