The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to a report from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. The news comes just days after learning that Josh Thole signed a minor-league pact with the Arizona Diamondbacks, basically forcing the team to look somewhere else as an alternative option, just in case this move didn't work out as originally planned.
That to be said, Toronto went out onto the market on Monday, where they claimed backstop Juan Graterol, meanwhile, signing his teammate Gregorio Petit to a minors-based deal as a form of precaution.
Back to Saltalamacchia, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported on Sunday that the club had recently expressed interest in the 31-year-old, however, nothing really seemed to have clicked until Tuesday when talks started to advance, therefore, essentially providing Russell Martin with a much-needed backup for the upcoming season.
The team was said to be have been looking at Chris Ianetta back in December after Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the team ran a check on him and were interested in his services, however, there were no further conversations beyond the front office, with respect to a potential free-agent signing. Ianetta has since landed signed in Arizona.
Not long after Davidi's initial report, Rosenthal revealed that Saltalamacchia will receive a total of $1.25 million if he does indeed make the club's 40-man roster out of spring training which is looking like a definite at this point in time. The contract also includes an extra $250,000 with the addition of incentives.
As for where things currently stand on the team side of things, the contract is currently pending the approval of a physical examination, therefore, an introductory press conference to make the official announcement will be held in the days to come. General manager Mark Shapiro and president Ross Atkins will be on either side as he is welcomed by the local media as well as perhaps a few of his new teammates for 2017.
Taking a look at Saltalamacchia's 2016 season, he walked away with a slash line of .171/.284/.346, to go alongside 12 home runs and 38 runs batted in, in a total of 92 games played. Over this span, Saltalamacchia made 292 appearances to the plate and could certainly add more experience to this relatively young ball club as well as another power-bat for the middle of the order which could play a crucial role in the team's success come the season's opening in Baltimore on April 3.null