The Miami Marlins spent $15 million to cut player 16 months after giving him a $21 million contract

Jarrod saltalamacchiaEliot J. Schechter/GettyJarrod Saltalamacchia is batting .069 in 2015.

The Miami Marlins have released catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports.

Saltalamacchia is just one year into the three-year, $US21 million contract that the Marlins gave him in 2014. The team will still have the pay him the remaining $US15 million.

The Marlins benched Saltalamacchia in April and replaced him with a minor league prospect, which Saltalamaccia told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post he wasn’t happy about. Days later, the Marlins designated him for assignment.

Saltalamacchia has been disappointing since signing his contract in 2014. In his 123 games with the Marlins he hit .209 with a .310 OBP. In nine games in 2015, his average is .069 and has two hits.

Crasnick reported that after the Marlins designated Saltalamacchia for assignment, several teams were interested in trading for him. However, perhaps because of his pricey contract, the Marlins couldn’t find a trade partner and were forced to eat the rest of his salary.

The Marlins have been historically frugal about spending, but they have started giving out big contracts in the last few years, most notably Giancarlo Stanton’s $US325-million deal.

Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman reports that teams will be interested in Saltalamacchia now that he is a free agent and will only make the league minimum. Two years ago, Saltalamacchia was a productive hitter, batting .273 and hitting 14 home runs with the Red Sox.

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