Marlins pursuing John Buck to fill catching void
The Marlins are in need of catching this winter, and they’ll be able to pick from a pretty deep pool of backstops in the open market if they choose to go that route. Based on reports, the catcher they covet most appears to be John Buck.
AOL FanHouse’s Ed Price tweeted Tuesday that the word from other clubs is that the Marlins are “working hard” to sign Buck. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, stated that while Florida still isn’t particularly close on Buck, the club is “definitely interested.”
Buck made $2 million with the Blue Jays last season but is coming off a career year, one that saw him set all-time highs with a .281 batting average, .314 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 66 RBIs. The 30-year-old also threw out 28 percent of would-be base-stealers in his seventh season, which ranked seventh among Major League catchers who qualified.
The Marlins began last season with a Ronny Paulino-John Baker platoon behind the plate. But Baker is coming off Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season, and Paulino was handed a 50-game suspension last year that he still hasn’t completely served.
Besides Buck, the Marlins have a few other free-agent catchers to choose from, like A.J. Pierzynski, Rod Barajas, Gerald Laird and Bengie Molina (Victor Martinez would likely be outside their price range).
— Alden Gonzalez