Texas Rangers Should Look at Jarrod Saltalamacchia
By David Hill
It has been an interesting week of buyer’s remorse when it comes to former members of the Texas Rangers. First Josh Hamilton was essentially made to go away by the Los Angeles Angels due to his addiction problems, resulting in his return to Arlington. Now, just over a year into his three year contract with the Miami Marlins, Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been designated for assignment.
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Given the Rangers offensive woes, catcher may not seem to be such a need. After all, Rangers catchers have produced a .681 OPS on the season, good for the tenth best in baseball at the position. However, Rangers catchers also have a .175 batting average and a .284 on base percentage. Those two marks are 22nd and 19th in baseball respectively.
While Jarrod Saltalamacchia is never going to be confused for a high average player or an on base machine, he has produced a relatively solid .240/.310/.415 batting line throughout his career. Saltalamacchia has also displayed solid power, hitting 66 home runs from 2011 through 2014.
Yes, heading into last night’s game, Robinson Chirinos has the third highest OPS+ of any of the Texas Rangers starters. However, that ignores the fact that Chirinos has an OPS+ of 70 and has produced a .154/.233/.385 batting line. Chirinos may be tied for the team lead in home runs and may have five extra base hits, but he has six hits all season and looks more like the defensive minded backup catcher that he has been pegged as through most of his career.
Quite frankly, with the state of the Texas Rangers offense, any possible upgrade should be considered. That is exactly what Jarrod Saltalamacchia would be, even if he has struggled in Miami. He is a proven power bat, and would help to upgrade an offense that has completely failed to produce.
As the Marlins designated Saltalamacchia for assignment, it may not take much for the Rangers to bring him back. Chances are, the Marlins would be happy to receive the salary relief and may even be willing pay a portion of his remaining contract. At what would likely be a minimal cost, the Rangers may well be able to pay another bargain price for a potential upgrade to their offense.
He may not return to the Texas Rangers with the same fanfare that will surround Josh Hamilton, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia could well prove to be another piece that can help the lineup.