Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Marlins were not able to find a trade for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after designating him for assignment last week, meaning they will outright release him.
Miami cut Saltalamacchia loose with about $15 million remaining on a three-year, $21 million deal signed last offseason, handing the starting job to rookie J.T. Realmuto (who has hit just .232 with a .571 OPS).
Saltalamacchia has plenty of flaws offensively and defensively, but quite a few teams figure to express interest now that the Marlins are eating his entire contract and the new cost to acquire him would simply be the minimum salary.
As recently as 2013 he hit .273 with 14 homers and an .804 OPS in 121 games for the Red Sox and … well, as recently as about 15 months ago the Marlins thought he was worth $21 million in guaranteed money.
The Marlins designated utilityman Derek Dietrich for assignment, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. This comes amid a flurry of moves on Tuesday night as teams prepare their rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft next month.
Dietrich, 29, is coming off another strong season in which he hit .265/.330/.421 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 551 plate appearances. He played all over the diamond, spending most of his time in left field and at first base. Dietrich also played some second base, third base, and right field.
Dietrich is entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility. He earned $2.9 million this past season and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $4.8 million in 2019. Cutting Dietrich represents a bit more than 4 million in savings for the rebuilding and perennially small-market Marlins. Dietrich should draw some interest, so the Marlins could end up trading him rather soon.
Wonder how J.T. Realmuto, now the longest-tenured Marlin, is feeling right about now.