Detroit Tigers: Best Free Agents to Improve Base Running

Aug 26, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) is tagged out by Los Angeles Angels catcher Jett Bandy (13) in the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) is tagged out by Los Angeles Angels catcher Jett Bandy (13) in the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Apr 23, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) runs to first as he flies out against the Cleveland Indians in the eighth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Catchers

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1 BsR
-0.5 UBR

Catchers generally tend not to be speed merchants going from station, but they can still make an impact with their legs with smart, heads up base running.

As it stands, the Detroit Tigers best option to utilize quality base running at the catcher position may be to retain Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The veteran backstop proved to be a relatively positive contributor on the base paths on a team lacking them. In fact, Salty ranked seventh among all catchers in the league in terms of BsR last season.

James McCann’s defensive prowess will keep him on the field most days, but having Saltalamacchia on the bench would give Detroit a dependable insurance policy.

Jeff Mathis
0.8 BsR
0.4 UBR

Another free agent option for the Tigers is Jeff Mathis. The longtime Angel recently capped off a four-year stint in Miami that saw him mainly serve as a backup. Mathis hit .238 last season and averaged 17 RBI, 12 runs scored and 10 extra-base hits per season while with the Marlins.

A defensive first catcher, the 34-year-old routinely grades out positively in a number of defensive metrics.

Bryan Holaday
1.4 BsR
1.4 UBR

Though not a free agent, another catcher who could appeal to the Tigers is Bryan Holaday. The former Detroit player is obviously familiar with the team’s pitching staff. What’s more, Al Avila may be able to pry him away from the Red Sox as Boston also employs Sandy Leon, Ryan Hanigan and Christian Vazquez.

Holaday finished first among all catchers in UBR (1.4) and fourth in BsR (1.4). By comparison, Andrew Romine checked in with a 1.0 UBR and a 1.8 BsR.