Player Profile: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Player: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Born: May 2, 1985, in West Palm Beach, FL

Position: Catcher/First baseman

Bat/Throw: Switch/R

Drafted: 1st round (36th overall) pick by Atlanta Braves in 2003 amateur draft

Career Highlights

  • Career .240/.311/.419 slash line over nine seasons with five teams
  • Career .988 fielding percentage and 22% caught-stealing

Saltalamacchia was one of the better hitting catchers as he climbed through the farm system of the Braves in the mid-2000’s. He debuted in 2007 with the Braves then was a part of a blockbuster trade at the trading deadline of the same season that shipped him and four others to Texas. ‘Salty’ has been mostly a backup catcher and first baseman his career and good in a pinch role. He was the starting catcher for the Red Sox from 2011-’13 and also with the Marlins in ’14. He played 70 games with Arizona last season and had one of his better years, hitting .251/.332/.474.

Tigers’ Outlook

The Detroit Tigers signed Saltalamacchia earlier in the week to the veteran minimum in what Tigers General Manager Al Avila says will be a competition for the backup role to starter James McCann, with Alex Avila now on the south side of Chicago. Detroit also has Bryan Holaday in the system, as he and Saltalamacchia will have all spring to compete for a spot on the 25-man.

Some things to consider. Saltalamacchia is making just over $500K with the Tigers and is still getting paid $8M by the Marlins after they waived him during last season. He has spent a lot of his career behind the dish and first base. His ability to hit from both sides would give him an advantage over Holaday though his numbers from the left side are significantly better than the right side. Meanwhile, Holaday is out of minor league options, meaning he would need to clear waivers before being sent back down to Toledo. Whether Avila prefers depth at the catcher position or to dangle Holaday out there while he can is still a question.

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