Results tagged ‘ John Baker ’

Marlins sign Wise, Thurston, 2 others

The Marlins have added some potential depth, signing outfielder Dewayne Wise, utility man Joe Thurston, catcher Clint Sammons and corner infielder Jamie D’Antona to Minor League contracts, MLB.com confirmed through a source on Wednesday. 
The role of lefty pinch-hitter for the Marlins has been in question heading into the 2011 season, but Wise and Thurston both hit from the left side, have Major League experience and could fill that role if they make the big league club. Catcher John Baker, recovering from Tommy John surgery, has also been considered an option for that role until he can start throwing again. 
Wise also has significant experience at center field and could potentially serve as insurance for Chris Coghlan, who’s expected to make the move to center field in 2011, following knee surgery. 
– Alden Gonzalez, Joe Frisaro  

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

Would Olivo be a fit in Florida?

The Marlins are looking for a catcher, and Miguel Olivo may soon be on the market.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Rockies will decline their end of Olivo’s mutual option for next year. The option was worth $2.7 million after the 32-year-old earned $2.5 million this season.

The Rockies will agree to pay a $500,000 buyout, freeing Olivo to explore the free agent market.

The Marlins are exploring catcher options, and there may be a fit with Olivo. At least internally, the team has brought up the possibility of bringing Olivo back to Florida, where he was a regular behind the plate in 2006 and 2007.

For the Rockies in 2010, Olivo appeared in 112 games, and he batted .269 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs.

In 2006 and ’07 with the Marlins, Olivo belted 16 home runs in each season.

Catching is an area of need for Florida.

Ronny Paulino, who is arbitration eligible, was suspended for 50-games for violating MLB’s substance policy, and the team is weighing whether to bring him back.

John Baker underwent Tommy John surgery and he has not been cleared to begin baseball activities. With the uncertainty about when Baker will return, catcher is a primary position the Marlins are seeking to upgrade.

Olivo will at least draw consideration from Florida.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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