Released by the Marlins earlier this week, switch-hitting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has signed a minor-league contract with the Diamondbacks.
Arizona’s need for catching help has been apparent for a long time now and taking a low-risk flier on Saltamacchia makes sense. His defense has always been shaky and he hit poorly in one-plus season in Miami, but as recently as 2013 he was one of the better-hitting catchers in baseball for the Red Sox.
In fact, from 2011-2013 he hit .244 with a .763 OPS for the Red Sox, including 55 homers in 345 games. It wouldn’t take a whole lot for Saltalamacchia to be an upgrade over the Diamondbacks’ current catching situation and at age 30 he seems like a decent bounceback candidate.
Miami, which signed Saltalamacchia to a three-year, $21 million contract last season, ate about $15 million in salary by cutting him loose to turn the catcher position over to rookie J.T. Realmuto.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.