Catcher Buck close to Marlins deal
Posted on: November 16, 2010 3:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:08 pm
The Marlins made finding a starting catcher one of their top offseason priorities, and it looks like they've quickly addressed that need. They are on the brink of a three-year deal with Blue Jays free agent John Buck, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has confirmed.
Florida got just a .226/.289/.338 line out of six catchers last season. Ronny Paulino, who played the most games (85), had his season end because of a failed drug test. His suspension extends into the first part of next season, and it sounds like he could be on the outs with the organization. The other three catchers the Marlins used most gave them nothing at the plate: Brad Davis (.204), Brett Hayes (.211) and John Baker (.213).
Buck, 30, was picked up off Kansas City's scrap heap last winter on a one-year contract and had an All-Star season, batting .281 with 20 homers and 66 RBI.
The Jays were afraid he would end up out of their price range, and traded Colorado for Miguel Olivo two weeks ago, though they promptly made the curious move of declining his $2.5 million 2011 option. We'll see whether the Jays start negotiating in earnest with Olivo at this point, because they need a veteran to help J.P. Arencibia break in next season.
UPDATE: The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the deal is worth $15-20 million. That's huge money for the Marlins, and huge money for a guy who batted .235 with an on-base percentage under .300 for six seasons prior to 2010. The Marlins certainly had a huge need at catcher, and Buck was one of the better options, but you can understand why the Jays bailed out on the bidding.
-- David Andriesen
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