Oct 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals designated hitterAllen Craig
(21) scores the winning run on an obstruction call even though Boston Red Sox catcherJarrod Saltalamacchia
(39) gets the tag on him during the ninth inning of game three of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Cardinals won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
With the Boston Red Sox out of the sweepstakes for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, after their signing of A.J. Pierzynski, the race is now between two teams: the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins.
According to Darren Wolfson (via Twitter), of ESPN.com Minnesota, the two teams have to make their final offer in the next day. According to Wolfson, the Marlins are currently ahead in the race for Salty, as he prefers to near his home in South Florida:
The fact that Saltalamacchia is from Miami and the lack of income tax puts the Marlins in the lead, in the case that both teams offer the same contract. Getting Salty on the Marlins for just $8 million a season would be a wonderful addition for the Fish, as they have no one that is ready to become the “franchise catcher” at this point.
Saltalamacchia has posted a very respectable .244/.306/.457 batting line (.330 wOBA) over those three seasons. His ISO for his career is .182, but has been at .213 the past three seasons, showing he has made strides at the plate.
A three-year pact would take Saltamalacchia through his age 32 season, which would be the beneficial for the Marlins capitalizing on his peak seasons for a reasonable price. This will allow the team to let Rob Brantly and J.T. Reamluto time to work on their respective games in the minors leagues, and if they show enough improvement, take over the starting catching role 4 years down the road.
The only downside that Salty brings to the Marlins would be his struggles behind the plate. However, with the team desperate to add offense, it would make sense to play Salty 4-5 games a week and get Jeff Mathis a start behind the plate once a week.
What do you guys think? Is a 3-year, $24 million deal for a starting catcher a fair one for the Marlins? Drop a comment and let us know your thoughts.