Tigers trade Bryan Holaday to Texas
The spring-long wait for catcher Bryan Holaday’s roster fate ended Tuesday night, when the Tigers traded their former backup to the Texas Rangers for catcher Bobby Wilson and right-handed pitching prospect Myles Jaye.
Holaday, a former Tigers draft pick who backed up Alex Avila for much of 2014, was on trade watch since Detroit signed veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia in December. Though the Tigers would’ve liked the catching depth behind second-year starter James McCann, Holaday is out of minor-league options and would’ve had to clear waivers to be outrighted to Triple-A Toledo.
Holaday helped his case with a standout spring offensively, batting 14-for-32 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He added defensive versatility to his resume with playing time at third base and left field.
The Rangers, who had been seeking to upgrade at backup catcher, were among the teams most frequently mentioned with rumored interest in Holaday, who grew up in Dallas and starred at nearby Texas Christian University. Once the Astros acquired Erik Kratz from the Padres Monday night, Texas was the most logical landing spot for Holaday.
Tuesday’s trade ensures the Tigers of some depth with Wilson, who turns 33 on April 8 and has backed up for four different teams over parts of seven Major League seasons. He’s a .204 (107-for-525) career hitter with nine home runs and 51 RBIs, while he’s a .994 fielder with eight passed balls and a 27 percent caught-stealing rate over 232 career games caught.
Wilson is expected to open the season in Toledo, with Miguel Gonzalez or Raffy Lopez backing him up.
The 24-year-old Jaye adds some pitching depth to a Tigers organization that has been trying to stockpile. The 24-year-old went 12-9 with a 3.29 ERA in 26 starts last year at Double-A Birmingham in the White Sox system, allowing 135 hits over 147 2/3 innings with 47 walks and 104 strikeouts. He’ll join the rotation at Double-A Erie.