Miami Marlins News: Jarrod Saltalamacchia Released

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Ten days ago, the Miami Marlins decided to part ways with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, designating him for assignment. The move was a surprising one, as the Marlins had signed Salty to a 3-year deal just one off-season ago.

The Marlins had until today 2 pm EST to work out a trade for their former prized free agency signing. Unfortunately, none came to fruition and the team released Saltalamacchia today.

The decision to designate Saltalamacchia, to me at least, was baffling to begin with. The team is putting all their eggs into a basket of an unproven catcher, in J.T. Realmuto, with two potential backups that haven’t hit a lick in their major league careers, in Jeff Mathis and Jhonatan Solano.

Now the team not being able to work out some sort of trade for a catcher did that generate some interest on the market is surprising. If the team at least ate some, if not most, of the $15 million, they could have at least added some organization filler.

Instead, now, the Miami Marlins will be on hook for the entirety of the $14 million owed to Saltalamacchia over the next two seasons.

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The Marlins only hope to rid of Salty’s contract now would be some team claiming him on release waivers, which is unlikely to happen. Salty can now begin talking to any team and will be able to sign a pro-rated minimum salary.

In his 4-years with the Red Sox, Salty owned a .243/.307/.455 slash line. In 2013, his walk year, Salty posted a .273/.338/.466 slash line and signed a 3-year deal with the Marlins as a result.

Last year was a struggle for the former Red Sox, as he posted a .220/.320/.362 line for the Marlins and struggled behind the plate. The team had hoped for a bounce back this season, but gave up on him after just 33 plate appearances.

The team will now rely fully on top prospect J.T. Realmuto to take over the catching duties full-time. We’ll have more on Realmuto later today. Thus far, Realmuto has posted a .232/.250/.321 slash line in 6o plate appearances.

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Framing this decision as Salty vs Realmuto is not fair, though. The baffling move on the Marlins part was releasing Saltalamacchia and leaving Jeff Mathis and Jhonathan Solano as his lone backups. The team traded a ton of catching depth this off-season, trading Austin Barnes and Chad Wallach, so the organization is extremely thin at that position now.

With the recent catching woes for the Red Sox, it would not surprise me one bit to see Salty end up in a Sox uniform once again. Hopefully he can work out his kinks and revive his career there.

Next: Marlins Drop Heartbreaker

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