Baltimore Orioles: Jarrod Saltalamacchia a Fit for the O’s?


Aug 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (8) hits an RBI single against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles will certainly need to add some catching depth upon the likely departure of Matt Wieters. Caleb Joseph is plenty capable of handling the bulk of catching responsibilities, and Steve Clevenger can be the backup, though the latter’s services may well be needed elsewhere in the field and lineup.

So what will the Orioles do to add some depth in the catching department? Chance Sisco is the presumed future for the O’s behind the plate, but he needs to continue his development in the minors. senior baseball writer and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted that sources list Jarrod Saltalamacchia as a primary consideration for the Baltimore Orioles.

There are two primary reasons why this makes sense to me: (1) He is the prototypical Dan Duquette acquisition, since he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1st round (36th pick) of the 2003 amateur draft; and (2) it has always been my luck as a sportswriter to have players with 14 letters in their complicated last name join the teams I cover.

Though it seems like Saltalamacchia has been around for about one-half of forever, he is actually only one year older than Matt Wieters. And he is nearly the same size, also batting as a switch hitter. Jarrod is also able to play first base, though he has only done so in 41 games in his career.

I have always thought that Salty was a very fine baseball player. The reason for this might be that he has been especially good against the Baltimore Orioles. There is only one other team against whom he has played more games (the Rays), and in 51 games against the Orioles he has batted .282 with eight home runs. He has hit .280 at Camden Yards.

My first memory of Saltalamacchia was from the famous Orioles vs. Rangers game of August 22, 2007. This was the horrific shellacking that the O’s suffered by getting beaten 30-3.  Salty played the entire game and went 4-for-6 with two home runs and seven RBIs.

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For his career, Saltalamacchia is a .240 hitter with 98 home runs in 788 games. His OBP is not too terribly bad for the .240 average, standing at .311.

Saltalamacchia hits .251 against righties, but only .212 against lefties. By comparison, Caleb Joseph hits right-handers at .226 but lefties at .250 … so there could be a sort of tandem approach there for Showalter to match up.

Next: Looking at Orioles free agents and possible targets

As always, it comes down to dollars. His salary for 2015 is not listed, though he made $6 million in 2014. Certainly he would come at a much lower price than that at this point in his career.

This is a very imaginable pick-up for the Orioles.