Saltalamacchia announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Saltalamacchia called it a career after appearing in just five games for the Tigers during the 2018 campaign. He joined forces with seven different teams over the course of his 12-year career and finishes with a .232/.306/.408 slash line along with 110 home runs and 381 RBI over 895 total games.
Saltalamacchia's contract was selected from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday.
The 33-year-old failed to make the big-league roster out of spring training, and his performance at Triple-A during the season did little to warrant a promotion. He batted just .174 with the Mud Hens while striking out 32 percent of the time. Saltalamacchia has a bit of pop, but he poses as little more than a third-string catcher for the remainder of the season.
The Tigers reassigned Saltalamacchia to their minor-league camp Thursday.
Saltalamacchia was a late arrival to spring training after remaining unsigned until landing a minor-league deal from Detroit in March, but he would have had difficulty cracking the Opening Day roster even if had stood out throughout the Grapefruit League schedule. Though he offers some pop behind the plate, Saltamacchia's sky-high strikeout rates and sketchy defense make him a less-than-ideal option as a No. 2 backstop.
Saltalamacchia is in camp with the Tigers on Friday, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
Saltalamacchia is expected to sign a minor-league deal with the club. The journeyman catcher has appeared in 890 games in his 11-year major-league career, including 92 with the Tigers in 2016. He received just 26 major-league plate appearances for Toronto last season and hit .162/.271/.243 in 33 games for Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays released Saltalamacchia from his minor-league contract with Triple-A Buffalo on Friday.
Saltalamacchia joined the Bisons on a minor-league deal May 16, just 13 days after being released by the Jays following his .117 OPS and 16 strikeouts in 26 MLB plate appearances. The 32-year-old had a .162/.271/.243 slash line in 33 games with Buffalo. A veteran catcher might draw some appeal on the open market, but Saltalamacchia is no longer worth monitoring in fantasy circles.
Saltalamacchia signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
After failing to garner any interest on the free market over the past couple weeks, Saltalamacchia will return to the team he began the season with. He only mustered one hit during his time in the big leagues, and given Toronto's choice to DFA Salty earlier in the year, he'll likely serve as nothing more than an organizational depth piece with Triple-A Buffalo moving forward.
Saltalamacchia was released by the Blue Jays on Wednesday, Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays Radio Network reports.
"Salty" was designated for assignment Friday after producing just one hit in 26 plate appearances, and it appears the veteran opted to find work elsewhere rather than spend time in Toronto's minor-league ranks. His vast big-league experience could pose some intrigue on the open market, but Saltalamacchia will have a hard time finding anything better than backup duty until he begins to show signs of life at the plate again.
Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Friday, John Lott of the Athletic reports.
The Blue Jays finally ran out of patience with Saltalamacchia, who has struggled mightily at the plate this season. After a disappointing 2016 in which he hit for a .171 batting average, the veteran catcher is slashing .040/.077/.040 in his 26 plate appearances so far in 2017.
Saltalammachia received high praise from Saturday's battery mate, Marco Estrada, and the two have developed productive chemistry that could lead to more playing time for the catcher, Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star reports.
Saltalamacchia, who signed with the Jays in the offseason, has started just two of the team's first 13 games while amassing a measly 10 at-bats. However, the door may be open to increased plate appearances after Estrada -- who struggled last time out -- pointed to the 31-year-old's influence as a key to the pitcher's seven scoreless innings. "It was the way Salty called the game. I was just trying to follow him, elevated a lot of fastballs and had them swinging at it," said the right-hander. As of now, Saltalamacchia is unworthy of a fantasy roster spot. But if he settles in as Estrada's routine catcher, the veteran could turn up as a decent punt play in daily leagues on occasion.
Saltalamacchia is hitting eighth in Saturday's lineup against the Orioles.
It marks just the second start this season for the backup catcher, who is just 1-for-7 at the plate thus far. With Russell Martin struggling to a .076 average out of the gate, Saltalamacchia could make a case for more playing time with some strong offensive production -- though that may be wishful thinking considering his dismal 2016 season.
Saltalamacchia is starting at catcher and batting eighth in Friday's game against the Rays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.
Russell Martin gets the day off, allowing Saltalamacchia a rare starting opportunity. The switch-hitter will look to make an immediate impact upon his new team, though he'll need to improve upon his 2016 stat line -- .171/.284/.346 -- if he is to see more regular playing time in a talented Blue Jays lineup.
The Blue Jays purchased Saltalamacchia's contract from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday.
Russell Martin will work as the Blue Jays' primary option at catcher, but Saltalamacchia -- who attended spring training as a non-roster invitee -- quickly distinguished himself as the top candidate for backup duties. The veteran backstop still has some power in his bat, but his .309 career on-base percentage will make it difficult for him to seriously push Martin for playing time.
Saltalamacchia's workload this season will heavily depend on how much work starter Russell Martin wants to take on, Corey Long of MLB.com reports.
Manager John Gibbons said he isn't far from disclosing the Jays' planned pitching rotation this season. In the process of making that announcement, he will also figure out how he wants to utilize the backup catcher. The skipper added that he'll look to identify which pitcher Saltalamacchia meshes with best early in the campaign before making a set schedule for the catchers. Ultimately, though, the divvying of playing time will be up to Martin. "Really, it's going to revolve around Russ and when he needs a day," Gibbons said. In 2016, Martin logged his heaviest workload in seven seasons, but the gritty veteran is unlikely to cede any time behind the dish if he can avoid it. For now, Saltalamacchia is nothing more than a handcuff for Martin owners and a punt in daily leagues when he's called upon.
Saltalamacchia will enter camp as the favorite to back up starting catcher Russell Martin, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
This news contradicts another story from MLB.com that suggests A.J. Jimenez will be the team's backup. With the latter out of options, the Jays risk losing the 26-year-old Jimenez to waivers if they opt for Saltalamacchia on Opening Day. Saltalamacchia will be entering his 10th big league season and has a career .234/.309/.413 slash line. A savvy veteran he may be, but a fantasy asset he's not. Even if Saltalamacchia beats out Jimenez this spring, he won't be worth a roster spot in most formats if Martin remains healthy.
Saltalamacchia agreed to a minor league contract with the Blue Jays on Tuesday, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Saltalamacchia was hot out of the gates with Detroit last season, smacking six homers in his first 12 games, but he finished with a .171 average and 69 wRC+ in 292 plate appearances. He'll get a chance to compete for the backup role behind Russell Martin, and while he has enough power to reach double-digits in home runs even in a reserve role, the 31-year-old sells out for that power (30.5 percent strikeout rate for career) and that makes him a huge liability in the batting average category.
Saltalamacchia became a free agent Monday after the Tigers did not extend him a qualifying offer, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Saltalamacchia had a couple spurts of success with Detroit, but overall his numbers were among the worst of his career. He'll likely look to sign a minor league contract somewhere if he can't garner a backup catching job.
Saltalamacchia went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Saturday.
Since the start of August, Salty has gone 6-for-54 (.111) with two extra base hits and nine walks. His batting average has dropped well below Mendoza at .179 and his OPS sits at .675. Platoon-mate James McCann has just a .646 OPS on the season, but while Saltalamacchia's game is on the slide, McCann's is on the rise (16-for-50 since mid-August). Salty is a risk in any fantasy lineup at this point.
Saltalamacchia went 1-for-2 with a walk and a solo shot in Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Royals.
Saltalamacchia started at first base in place of the injured Miguel Cabrera in part because manager Brad Ausmus hoped to take advantage of his offensive punch. According to Statcast, Saltalamacchia's drive to the center-field shrubs traveled an estimated 438 feet from the plate. It marked Saltalamacchia's 34th RBI of the season on his 37th hit, 11 of which have been home runs. Unfortunately for 31-year-old, he's rarely been able to capitalize on that power as Salty is hitting just .200 (37-for-185) on the year.
Saltalamacchia is 3-for-19 (.158) with one walk, two RBI and no extra-base hits in August. For the month, his slash line is .158/.238/.158.
Salty's overall slash line of .197/.312/.399 is a bit better, but still akes him a queasy play for fantasy owners. Saltalamacchia is better overall against righties (.200/.329/.436) and should probably be deployed solely against them; the Tigers have been pretty much splitting time between Salty and James McCann. Avoid Salty if you can. If not, trot him out against righties and hold your breath.
Saltalamacchia hit a pinch solo homer Sunday at the White Sox.
Saltalamacchia's 10th big fly of the campaign came with two outs in the ninth inning and brought the Tigers all the way back from a three-run deficit in the frame. The bomb was his first hit in his last 15 at-bats, and he's now slashing .189/.311/.421 on the year.
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AAA-Oklahoma City Redhaw||63||238||37||58||11||2||11||33||25||60||1||0||.244||.326||.445|
|2010||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||9||36||5||10||5||0||1||6||4||9||0||0||.278||.350||.500|