I'm told the Dbacks are having internal discussions about whether to pursue Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was designated today by the Marlins.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) April 27, 2015
This isn't an enormous surprise. Our catchers have ranked dead last in the National League so far by OPS, putting up a line of .191/.247/.191, for a .438 OPS, so it wouldn't take much to improve the output there. Not that Saltalamacchia's 2015 so far actually would have, as he has made our catchers look like the second coming of Mike Piazza, hitting a staggering .069 - 2-for-29 - though with both those hits being for extra-bases [something all of our catches have yet to produce], his OPS sits at .389. His career numbers, naturally, are a great deal higher, with an OPS of .725, and anything even on the same tectonic plate to that would be a significant improvement here.
He's currently owed about $15 million, the Marlins' having decided to cut ties with Saltalamacchia, barely over one-third of the way through a three season deal for $21 million, signed in December 2013. With a .681 OPS last year, he ended up basically at replacement level by bWAR. It seems extremely unlikely anyone will put a waiver claim in; the Marlins can also trade Saltalamacchia, and some kind of deal, in which Florida pays the vast majority of the remaining amount, might be a possibility, if Arizona are interested.
However, there are a couple of issues. He isn't good defensively, with the numbers rating him very poorly at pitch-framing, and former team-mate Tanyon Sturtze mincing no words and flat-out saying, "Pitchers hate throwing to him." Ouch. Let's also not forget that we will be getting Oscar Hernandez back from the DL in a couple of months, and need to find roster room for the Rule 5 pick. If we picked up Saltalamacchia, would he displace Tuffy Gosewisch as the everyday starter for the Diamondbacks? Or would it be more of a platoon situation, with the switch-hitting newcomer, who is almost 180 career OPS higher vs. RHP?
Personally, I hope we don't pick him up. Though that's largely because after less than 400 words, I am already sick and tired of trying to spell "Saltalamacchia", and have resorted to copy-pasting it. "Gosewisch" took long enough to learn, thank you very much...