Marlins release veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Tuesday May 5th, 2015

The Miami Marlins have released veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the team announced Tuesday.

Saltalamacchia, 30, had been designated for assignment last week and was released after the Marlins could not find a trade partner. 

Saltalamacchia signed a three-year, $21 million contract before the 2014 season, meaning the team still owes him $14.2 million.

The Marlins called up catching prospect J.T. Realmuto when backup catcher Jeff Mathis fractured his hand last month. Realmuto eventually supplanted Saltalamacchia as the Marlins' primary catcher.

"Am I mad? Yeah I’m mad, I want to play,” Saltalamacchia told the Palm Beach Post when his playing time decreased. "I’m not going to hurt this team. I’m not going to be the reason that causes a distraction. No hard feelings whatsoever. I want to win. My job is to help the team win so whatever I can do to help is what I’m going to do."

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The Marlins gave Saltalamacchia $21 million after he batted .273 with an .804 OPS in 2013, career-highs for a full season. He batted .220 with a career-high 143 strikeouts in his first season in Miami and had two hits in 29 at-bats this season. 

There was speculation that the Boston Red Sox, the team Saltalamacchia played with from 2010–13, would bring him back after two of their catchers were injured, but prospect Blake Swihart was promoted from the minors instead.

- Dan Gartland

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