2013 Free Agency options - Catcher

Much of the talk for the Miami Marlins since the (non-waiver) trade deadline has been around two things.

  1. How dreadfully pithy the lineup looks with the likes of Nick Green, Gorkys Hernandez, Greg Dobbs and now Gil Velazquez getting regular starting time.
  2. Speculation on how new blood like Nathan Eovaldi, Rob Brantley and Jacob Turner will impact the team in 2013
  3. What exciting new peices are out there for the Marlins to acquire with the ~$22 million that is coming off the payroll thanks to the departure and Juan Carlos Oviedo and Hanley Ramirez.

I want to take the opportunity to prove you with a quick list of 2013 free agents of note for the positions that I think are weakest in the Marlins roster: C, 2B, 3B, CF, SP... First, let's look at the catcher options.

Current assets:

John Buck - Signed thru 2013, 3 yrs/$18M (0.4 WAR)
Brett Hayes - Pre-Arb Eligible (-0.9 WAR)
Rob Brantly - Pre-Arb Eligible (N/A)

Attractive free agent options:

A.J. Pierzynski
Mike Napoli
Russell Martin

Unattractive free agent options:

Kelly Shoppach
Brian Schneider
Humberto Quintero
David Ross

Toxic free agent option:

Dioner Navarro
Ronny Paulino
Yorvit Torrealba
Wil Nieves
Matt Treanor

Options with options:

Brian McCann
Carlos Ruiz
Jose Molina
Rod Barajas
Chris Iannetta
Henry Blanco
Miguel Olivo

I seriously doubt that either Brian McCann or Carlos Ruiz will not be with their respective teams in 2013... and they're clearly the most attractive names on the list.

Personally.... I like the idea of AJ Pierzynski on the team. He's productive (2.2 WAR), he's played well with Ozzie before, and he's unlikely to get more than a year (and an option for a second) at his age, which lets Brantley ease in or provides a contingency if he fails outright.

If you see Brantley as more of a permanent backup, rather than a starter-to-be, then Russell Martin and Mike Napoli are probably better choices. They'll probably be looking for 3-4 year contracts, and of the two I think Martin is the better option. Martin is a capable defensive catcher who has put up decent offensive numbers in the past... which may be hard to remember given his struggles in New York. Napoli is more productive than Martin, but also is more of a liability defensively.

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