For starters, the Marlins get back a top catcher and one of their big acquisitions this past off-season. For a team that remains firmly in the middle of a playoff race, having a quality, battle-tested catcher back in the lineup stands to be a big boost.
Things have been touch and go in terms of production for Saltalamacchia: he has batted .237/.335/.404 through 48 games so far. Those numbers stand to improve, and more importantly, the Marlins value his return for reasons other than his offense.
The Marlins promoted top pitching prospect Andrew Heaney this week in a move that was a pleasant surprise to many people. Heaney will make his big league debut on Thursday in a ballyhooed match-up against Mets’ stud Zack Wheeler. Every little bit of help the Marlins can give him will be huge. That starts with getting the man known as “Salty” behind the dish to catch his debut.
Many people were quick to chide Saltalamacchia for signing with the Marlins this off-season. What was he thinking, they wondered, going from the World Series champions to a lowly franchise like the Marlins?
There is still plenty of season left, of course, but I would say that Salty looks pretty wise right now, no?