In an update to yesterday’s story, it appears as though the Blue Jays have found their new backup catcher. Per Ken Rosenthal, the team is reportedly has reached an agreement with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Source: Saltalamacchia signing minor-league deal with #BlueJays, $1.25M if in majors, plus $250K in incentives. Deal pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2017
The veteran catcher looks to be a good fit for the Jays. Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter, who in 2016, posted a line of .171/.284/.346. It’s worth pointing out that he was plagued by an awful .222 BABIP as well. His career numbers are considerably better, with a line of .234/.309/.413. In terms of offence, Saltalamacchia has seen his power decrease in recent years. He also sports a high strikeout rate. That said, he does take his share of walks, and can hit for a decent average (by backup catcher standards).
Saltalamacchia’s main attribute is his reliability. In the unfortunate event that Russell Martin gets injured this season, the Jays will have a backup who is capable of playing a large number of games without being terribly exposed. That has not been the case for a number of seasons.
A $1.25M contract seems like a small price to pay for reliable insurance. Even if the figure reaches $1.5M, it still is not much to pay. What do you think of this deal? Are you happy with the MLB veteran, or would you have preferred A.J. Jimenez?