The Marlins have designated catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment just one season (plus 33 plate appearances) after signing him to a three-year, $21 million contract. With Saltalamacchia now available to either the highest bidder in the trade market or, should no partner emerge willing to eat some portion of his contract, to any team that offers a league minimum salary, there's no shortage of rumors surrounding his future.
And, of course, the Red Sox are a part of the conversation. After all, the Red Sox are the team the Marlins signed Saltalamacchia away from in the first place. Nick Cafardo says that Miami has been in contact with five teams over a potential Saltalamacchia swap, while Jerry Crasnick lists the Red Sox as one of four candidates for Saltalamacchia's services:
#RedSox, #Indians, #Mariners and #Dbacks among potential landing spots for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, says one MLB source.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) April 27, 2015
Don't go drawing up any new rosters just yet, though. If the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson is to be believed, the Red Sox aren't interested in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, even if he comes more or less free:
Source: Red Sox would be "unlikely" to pursue a reunion with Jarrod Saltalamacchia even at the league minimum.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) April 27, 2015
So, who do we believe? How about both? It makes sense that the Red Sox would have been in contact with the Marlins on Saltalamacchia, because the Red Sox are likely one of the first teams the Marlins called when they decided they were done with him. Not only are they familiar with Saltalamacchia, but they recently lost their expected starting catcher in Christian Vazquez to Tommy John surgery. At a glance, the Red Sox seem to be a pretty good match for Saltalamacchia.
Any deeper dive, though, will show why it makes sense that the Red Sox would prefer to stand pat. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is what he is. He can hit for power, and is willing to crouch behind the plate and pretend to be a catcher so long as it makes his bat not simply tolerable, but desirable to whatever team has him.
There's a place for him somewhere in the majors, since he won't hit .069/.182/.207 forever. But it's almost certainly not in Boston, where the Red Sox are doing what they can to surround a shaky rotation with as much support as possible, where Blake Swihart is waiting in Triple-A, and where Christian Vazquez will return at some point down the line. There's just no place on this team for a player like Salty.