“I’m excited to be in an organization where they want me.”
— Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, reflecting on his trade from the Texas Rangers.
I know that Saltalamacchia needed a fresh start, but I find this quote rather curious, because I never got any sense that the Rangers didn’t want the guy. Indeed, while Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus have become budding stars, at the time Saltalamacchia was seen as the key to the Mark Teixeira trade. The Rangers actually went to great lengths to give him the starting catching job, it seemed, trading away Gerald Laird and naming him starter on multiple occasions.
Injuries happened. Those throwing yips happened. I don’t think it was ever a matter of desire. It was simply a matter of the Rangers needing a catcher who could help them win ballgames and Saltalamacchia was never that guy for any number of reasons. It happens.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.