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Tigers rumors: Rangers interested in catcher Bryan Holaday

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The Tigers have three catchers on their 40-man roster, and may be interested in adding outfield depth.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With Detroit's decision to sign a backup catcher in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Tigers now have three catchers with major league experience on their 40-man roster, and no room to stash them all in the minor leagues. As James McCann is presumably locked into the starting role in 2016 and going forward, Bryan Holaday stands to reason as the odd man out. Holaday has played in 108 games since 2012 for the Tigers while posting a meager 71 wRC+ and 0.5 fWAR. He is out of minor league options, so Detroit will either have to trade him or give him the option to declare free agency this spring.

It appears that there is some interest in Holaday. The Rangers are taking a look, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, with the Tigers reportedly looking for a right-handed bat in return. Now, of course what the Tigers want isn't necessarily what the Tigers will get, especially for an asset of (very) marginal value like Holaday.

Still, the Rangers do have a few right-handed outfielders on their roster. Delino DeShields was a pick in the 2014 Rule V draft that logged 121 games for the Rangers as a rookie, hitting .261/.344/.374 and 25 stolen bases. He does come with (small sample) defensive issues, posting a -9.7 UZR/150 in left field last year. All in all, DeShields seems to be far more valuable than Holaday alone. However, if the Tigers were to build a package, it certainly seems reasonable that they could land him.

Ryan Rua is also on the Rangers' 40-man roster, although he is a flawed player. After posting a 104 wRC+ as a rookie in 2014, he regressed heavily in limited time last year, hitting just .193/.221/.398 with a 37.2 percent strikeout rate. Rua is not known as a defensive whiz, although he isn't a butcher. All in all, Holaday for Rua would be the epitome of a depth trade.

It remains to be seen whether or not Al Avila prioritizes the value of having another catcher on the roster for depth purposes, or if he simply would like to net some value from Holaday while he can. Without any minor league options remaining, Holaday will need to clear waivers in order to return to Triple-A Toledo to start the 2016 season (assuming Saltalamacchia wins the backup catcher job). The options appear to be there if Avila does choose to make a move in the next few days.