The Miami Marlins designated Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment on Monday which effectively ends the catcher's time in South Florida.
Saltalamacchia will now be available to any team, but it is unlikely any team will pick up the remainder of the veteran's contract. Once Saltalamacchia clears waivers, Miami is expected to release the catcher. The team will be on the hook for the remainder of his deal which runs through 2016 and is valued at $14.2 million.
After being a part of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in 2013, Saltalamacchia came home and signed with the Marlins. At the time, Miami figured it was adding a dependable offensive force behind the plate. Saltalamacchia however struggled to find his swing in Miami last year and got off to a horrid start in 2015.
With his average plummeting and his strikeout total soaring, the Marlins benched Saltalamacchia and turned to prospect J.T. Realmuto. Ever since the young catcher took over, Miami has seen an improvement in the lineup. Realmuto has not put up big offensive numbers yet but he has vastly out-produced Saltalamacchia.
Miami has Jeff Mathis on the disabled list and once he returns, there was going to be no room for Saltalamacchia on the roster. Rather than wait for that day, the Marlins made the move early and will keep Jhonatan Solano on the team as a backup instead. Solano is more adapt to the role of being a reserve catcher.
The Marlins have won five games in a row and have inched closer in the division after a rough five-game skid earlier in the season.