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.
Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.
That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.
Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.
Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.