Sources said the Marlins have agreed to terms with catcher John Buck on a three-year deal worth more than $18 million but are awaiting the results of his physical before making it official.
Buck is coming off a career year, posting .281/.314/.489, which is pretty darn good for a catcher not named Mauer. But his stats for his career are somewhat less impressive: .243/.301/.421. His best attribute as a hitter is probably his ability to hit lefties very well. That is something that is needed since John Baker doesn't.
Don't expect to see another year at the plate for Buck like last year. More than likely he will regress back to his mean, and if he does, it will probably mean the Marlins are paying too much for him. But the team feels they need a catcher, and that is the price you pay. Unfortunately, the Fish are paying for 3-years like last year and most likely they won't get them. Also, 3-years seem like more of an investment in a non-elite catcher than I want to make. That is a very physically demanding position and catchers tend to get hurt.
Let's say the Marlins don't get full value from his hitting, but he does stay healthy. If he is good behind the plate and works well with the pitching staff, that does count for something. I have never seen him catch, so I have no idea how good he is at it. And oh, before you break out your latest and greatest catcher fielding stat, let me just say this in advance - it sucks! It may be better than what you had before but it still sucks. No one has a good one yet.
I think this contract is a roll of the dice but you know, sometimes you get lucky (and lucky is the operative word) and win.
Welcome aboard, John.