Detroit Tigers trade catcher Ryan Lavarnway to Miami Marlins for cash considerations

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers traded catcher Ryan Lavarnway to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, according to a source, to open the door for other catchers with Triple-A Toledo to receive more playing time.

In return, the Tigers received cash considerations.

Lavarnway, 34, played five MLB games for the Marlins in 2020. He hit .281 with a .385 on-base percentage, five home runs, 23 walks and 34 strikeouts in 44 games for the Mud Hens this season.

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The journeyman catcher, who attended Yale University, has competed in 165 MLB games across parts of 10 seasons for eight teams: Boston Red Sox (2011-14), Baltimore Orioles (2015), Atlanta Braves (2015), Oakland Athletics (2017), Pittsburgh Pirates (2018), Cincinnati Reds (2019), Marlins (2020) and Cleveland Guardians (2021).

From 2017-21, Lavarnway played 31 games. During that span, he has a .311 batting average with two home runs, three walks and 21 strikeouts.

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Lavarnway has hit .217 with nine homers, a 24.7% strikeout rate and a 6.6% walk rate throughout his MLB career. He did not reach the big leagues with the Tigers in 2022.

With Lavarnway joining the Marlins’ organization, the Tigers have three catchers on Triple-A Toledo’s roster: 34-year-old Dustin Garneau, 25-year-old Ali Sanchez and 26-year-old utility player Brady Policelli.

Garneau and Sanchez should receive the bulk of the starts behind the plate, with Garneau seemingly lined up for a promotion to the majors if either of the Tigers’ catchers — Tucker Barnhart or Eric Haase — land on the injured list.

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When spring training ended, Garneau traveled with the Tigers as part of their Opening Day roster. He played in just eight games, hitting .300 with one walk and four strikeouts, before he was designated for assignment in early May.

Garneau, after clearing waivers, chose to stay within the organization.

Sanchez, though, is the only Triple-A catcher on the 40-man roster. He has one minor-league option remaining, is considered an above-average defender and knows how to handle a pitching staff.

The Tigers claimed Sanchez off waivers June 18 from the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .255 with four home runs, 13 walks and 29 strikeouts in 30 games for Triple-A Memphis but hasn’t played for the Mud Hens.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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