LAKELAND, Fla. -- The spring-long wait for catcher Bryan Holaday's roster fate ended on 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 second-round 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 needed to clear waivers to be outrighted to Triple-A Toledo.
Instead of complaining about his situation or requesting a trade, Holaday helped his case with a standout spring offensively, batting 14-for-32 with four home runs and 12 RBIs after working on his swing. He added defensive versatility 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 interest in Holaday, who grew up in Dallas and starred at nearby Texas Christian University. Once the Astros acquired Erik Kratz from the Padres on Monday night, Texas became the most logical landing spot for Holaday.
"I want to thank the Detroit Tigers for giving me the opportunity to play baseball," Holaday said in a statement he posted on his Twitter account Tuesday night. "It has been an amazing journey with the organization and the relationships I have made during that journey have been more than memorable. … That being said, I am a Texas Ranger and couldn't be happier. I get to go back home!"
Tuesday's trade assures the Tigers of some catching depth with Wilson, who will turn 33 on April 8 and has backed up for four teams over parts of seven Major League seasons. He's a .204 (107-for-525) career hitter with nine home runs and 51 RBIs, but his reputation centers on defense. He owns a .994 career fielding percentage with eight passed balls and a 27 percent caught-stealing rate over 232 games.
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.
Jaye will join the rotation at Double-A Erie.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.