It’s official, the Toronto Blue Jays have released backup catcher Jarrod “Salty” Saltalamacchia.
Saltalamacchia was originally signed by the Blue Jays to a minor league deal, but was brought up to the major league team once the season began. He was brought up to give everyday catcher Russel Martin more frequent off days. Last year, Jays backup catchers Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole were on the team to give him more rest, but they both lacked offensive and defensive power that Martin brought to the lineup every game. When the Jays signed Saltalamacchia, they thought they were going to be getting good defence and mediocre offence, but that did not seem to be true.
With his time in the Jays organization, .Saltalamacchia had a 040/.077/.040 batting line with 16 strikeouts to one walk across 10 games played.
On April 28, the Jays DFA’d Saltalamacchia, and on May 3 he was officially released.
With Saltalamacchia now officially off the roster, the Blue Jays have selected the contract of C Luke Maile. He has already played his first game as a Jay, and did an excellent job catching Marco Estrada through five innings on Monday.
The Blue Jays have a couple of options they can choose from here. There is always an option to trade for a decently good catcher, but since it is still early in the season not many clubs will be willing to trade any players right now. Another option would be to call a player up from within the organization, but all of the AA/AAA minor league catchers still need quite a bit of time to develop. As of right now, the most obvious route would be sticking with Maile until a better option rises.
As of right now, there should be less of a concern with finding a new backup catcher, and more of a concern with finding out why the Blue Jays are not winning nearly as many games as they had been expected to win.