Bryan Holaday has elected free agency after two seasons in the Miami Marlins system.
In 2018, Holaday offset his below-average season at the plate (.205/.261/.258) with a Hall of Fame level defensive season. He made zero errors and passed one ball in 357 1/3 innings, leading the major leagues with a 45 percent kill-rate on 38 attempted steals. Granted free agency after the season, Holaday elected to sign another one-year deal with the Miami Marlins for the 2019 campaign.
Defensively, Holaday came back to earth a little in 2019, making an error with another passed ball in 311 innings of work, with a 20 percent caught-stealing rate on 25 attempts. He enjoyed his best career major league offensive output with a .278/.344/.435 slash line over 129 plate appearances, with four long-balls and 12 RBI. In 268 major league games in total, Holaday has slashed .241/.287/.340 with 10 homers and 74 RBI with the Marlins, the Detroit Tigers, the Texas Rangers, and the Boston Red Sox.
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In prior moves, Wilkin Castillo elected to also pursue free agency after his return to the majors following a 10-year absence. Castillo went one-for-seven with a pair of RBI. Tyler Heineman was outrighted to the New Orleans Baby Cakes, but not really, since there is no such team. If all things remain the same, he’ll report to the Miami Marlins new Triple-A team in Wichita.
As far as backup catchers go, they don’t get much better than Holaday. The Miami Marlins could do a lot worse, that’s for sure. It may behoove them to resign him for a third one-year deal, if he’ll take it.
The multiple moves leave Alfaro as the only catcher on the Miami Marlins 40-man roster. Chad Wallach is listed, but is suffering with continued symptoms of a concussion suffered in late-May and doesn’t have a hard timeline for his eventual return.
The Marlins could eventually pursue other catchers through free agency to back up Alfaro in 2020. Possiblities include Travis d’arnaud, Austin Romine, Russell Martin, and Tyler Flowers. I covered this in some depth here.