The Blue Jays may have found their new backup catcher, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the team has an agreement with Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a minor league deal. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal, and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported Toronto's interest. As per Rosenthal, Saltalamacchia will make $1.25 million if in the majors, plus a potential $250k in incentives.
Saltalamacchia is coming off a poor offensive season in Detroit, as he hit just .171 in 292 plate appearances. He's known as a "three-true-outcome" type of player as he strikes out a ton, draws his fair share of walks, and provides plenty of power. Although a switch-hitter, Saltalamacchia has done much better against right-handed pitching over his career, and is not a strong bat against southpaws.
He posted the 2nd highest strikeout rate in the Majors last season out of the 307 players with at least 250 plate appearances, but also boasted the 17th best walk rate. He carries a .234 career batting average, but boasts a double digit home run total almost every year.
Defensively, he grades out poorly as a pitch framer, and is regularly below average in terms of Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). Catcher A.J. Jimenez is out-of-options, so it appears he will compete with Saltalamacchia to be the backup catcher to Russell Martin.