D-Backs agree to minor league deal with Saltalamacchia
PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a minor league contract with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The 30-year-old catcher was released by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, one month into the second season of a $21 million, three-year contract.
Saltalamacchia is to report to the Diamondbacks’ spring training facility in Scottsdale, then be sent to Triple-A Reno.
He is a career .240 hitter with 90 home runs and 320 RBIs in 718 games over nine seasons with Atlanta, Texas, Boston and Miami.
But he was just 2 for 29 at the plate in nine games with the Marlins this season.
Tuffy Gosewich, who has spent most of his 11-year professional career in the minor leagues, has been Arizona’s everyday catcher this season. Considered a good defensive player, Gosewich is batting .208 with a .250 on-base percentage and five RBIs in 40 games with the Diamondbacks this season. He did have three hits in the team’s 5-1 victory in the second game of a doubleheader sweep at Colorado on Wednesday.
Gosewich has appeared in 75 major league games, with a career .211 batting average.
Arizona’s backup is Jordan Pacheco because Gerald Laird has been on the 15-day disabled list for the past month with lower back problems.
Manager Chip Hale said he has no specific plans for Saltalamacchia beyond his reporting to Reno.
”I can’t say he’ll get so many at bats and he’ll be here,” Hale said before Thursday night’s game against San Diego. ”We’ll assess what we have and what’s going to make us better.”
Another catcher, Oscar Hernandez, is on the disabled list with a fractured left hand and is almost ready for some extended spring training games.
”So we have some decisions to make,” Hale said.
Saltalamacchia hit .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 121 games with the World Series champion Red Sox 2013, the last of his three full seasons with Boston. He hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2012.
He signed with the Marlins that offseason. Last year, he hit .220 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in 121 games with Miami, committing 15 errors. This year, Saltalamacchia lost his starting job to Miami rookie J.T. Realmuto.
Hale said the Diamondback had considered acquiring Saltalamacchia in a trade.
”We didn’t’ want to do that,” Hale said. ”When he became a free agent we were interested, and I think he’s interested in us, which is nice. He’s interested in maybe the opportunity to play. Like I said before, we just have to see where we are when he’s ready and how our guys are doing.”