Opinion

Royals have preliminary conversations about adding Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (right) was recently designated for assignment.
Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (right) was recently designated for assignment. The Associated Press

Whenever a player on another club becomes available, the scouting department of the Royals debates the man’s merits and considers his potential contributions to their club. An intriguing name passed across the waiver wire on Monday when Miami designated catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment, despite being early in the second season of a three-year, $21 million contract.

The Royals have had discussions about pursuing Saltalamacchia as backup complement to two-time All-Star Salvador Perez, according to people with knowledge of the situation. General manager Dayton Moore was the director of player development with Atlanta when the Braves drafted Saltalamacchia.

Reached by telephone, Moore cited an inability to discuss another team’s players and declined to comment. The Royals’ interest in Saltalamacchia was described as very preliminary, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

It is highly unlikely a team claims Saltalamacchia on waivers, as that club would be on the hook for more than $14 million in salary through 2016. But an interested club could make an offer to help defray the Marlins’ sunk cost.

After posting a .681 on-base plus slugging percentage, Saltalamacchia face-planted to start 2015. He was hitting .069 when Miami elected to cut ties with him.

Royals officials offer only praise for Erik Kratz, who has been Perez’s backup since last summer. But the team has used him sparingly. Kratz has started one game in April. With four off-days scheduled in May, he may see a similarly light workload.

Saltalamacchia hit 55 homers with a .763 OPS for Boston from 2011 to 2013. He is not considered a strong pitch framer, according to advanced metrics.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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