Although the regular season has started, the Blue Jays are still trying to improve their depth. The team has reportedly acquired catcher Luke Maile. Marc Topkin has the story:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 6, 2017
Maile was DFA’d by the Rays on Saturday. It is worth noting that Topkin does not say whether this is a trade or a waiver claim.
This is an interesting move for the Jays. They already have Juna Graterol and Mike Oilman in Buffalo, and Reese McGuire in New Hampshire. Recent reports suggest that the organization is still not comfortable with Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s defence. If that’s the case, then Maile may win himself the backup job on the 25-man roster.
Maile had a disappointing 2016 season at the plate, as he posted a line of .227/.252/.361, good for a wRC+ of 61. However, his defence was very good, as he accumulated a 4.4 defensive WAR in only 42 games.
The Jays’ decision as to how they will use Maile will be telling. Teams often favour defence from their backup catcher, but Saltalamacchia was more of an offensive-minded signing. Now that the Jays’ brass has watched him throughout spring training, they might believe that they would be better served with a defensive specialist behind the plate.