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Miami Marlins designate Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment

Division rival gives up on catcher less than halfway through $21 million deal

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Before the 2014 season, the Miami Marlins signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year deal worth $21 million. Less than halfway through that deal, the team has designated Saltalamacchia for assignment. Saltalamacchia, who turns 30 later this week, is regarded as one of the top power hitters at the catcher position, but he has never established himself as a consistent offensive threat.

On the defensive side, he has thrown out just 22 percent of runners in his career. So far this season, he had managed just two hits in 29 at-bats. For his career, he has hit .240/.310/.415 with 90 home runs in 2,671 plate appearances.

The Marlins seem to have placed their faith in 24-year-old rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is off to a promising start this year. Saltalamacchia's contract, which includes an $8 million salary next season, will almost certainly pass through waivers, but he is likely to draw interest from other teams once he hits free agency.