When Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed up a horrendous first season with the Marlins with an even worse April, they decided to cut him loose even though they were still on the hook for two more seasons. He didn't exactly regain his standing after signing with the Diamondbacks, who ultimately turned to Welington Castillo instead, but he did finish strong in a part-time role, batting .308 with five home runs in 52 September at-bats. It wasn't enough to earn him a starting job with the Tigers this offseason, but he is backing up the mostly unproven James McCann and still makes for an attractive second catcher in AL-only leagues.
Saltalamacchia agreed to a one-year contract with the Tigers on Sunday, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports. Saltalamacchia will head back to the American League after playing for the Marlins and Diamondbacks the last two seasons. The Tigers appear primed to go with James McCann as their primary catcher in 2016, so Saltalamacchia will compete for the backup job against Bryan Holaday.
Saltalamacchia elected free agency Monday. Saltamacchia spent the first month of the season with the Marlins before he was cut loose, but upon landing with the Diamondbacks' organization, he worked his way back to the majors by the end of May. While he had his moments in Arizona, he finished with a .225/.310/.435 slash line and nine homers in 200 at-bats between the two clubs. Expect the 30-year-old catcher to find a gig elsewhere, though he'll likely have to work himself into a starting role.
Diamondbacksoutfielder Peter O' Brien will enter spring training next season as a catcher, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. O'Brien came up as a catcher, but made all three of his big league appearances this season in left field. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Welington Castillo both potentially hitting the free agent market, the Diamondbacks will enter the offseason with some uncertainty behind the plate, but O'Brien will have the opportunity to win the job.
Diamondbacks resurgent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia slammed his ninth home run of the year Wednesday night, providing the margin of victory over the Padres. It marked his third home run this week as he finishes the season on a tear - he has posted a .294/.357/.686 line and five home runs in 51 at-bats over the past 30 days and has played his way into more of a split in playing time with Welington Castillo. Saltalamacchia will be a free agent at the end of the season and has probably earned a shot as a starter somewhere with the .828 OPS he has produced in the desert.
Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo was a late scratch Wednesday with a sore left wrist, per MLB.com. Castillo likely will return to the lineup on Friday. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will replace him in the lineup.