These could be Jorge Alfaro’s final weeks as a Marlin. According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins will seek catching help for the 2022 season. Unless Alfaro’s left field experiment proves to be a booming success down the stretch, he might easily be on his way out after three inconsistent campaigns with the Fish.
The Marlins need a new starting catcher next year, addressing what’s been their roster’s biggest weakness.
It’s time to take a look at some of them who may be affordable or realistic to be acquired via free agency.
Names such as Travis d’Arnaud, Yan Gomes, Stephen Vogt, Martín Maldonado, and Manny Piña will be available on the open market.
But this is when we need to apply filters to our search. With so much special, young pitching talent in the organization, the Marlins need not worry too much about a defensive/game-calling specialist. They should prioritize shopping for an offensive-minded backstop—you can’t count on Maldonado, Vogt, or Piña for that. This leaves us with d’Arnaud and Gomes.
d’Arnaud was great for the Braves in 2020, when he even won the NL Silver Slugger award. Entering Sunday, he has just played in 26 games this year (torn thumb ligament), but he’s back to being his productive self since returning from the injured list.
Recently traded from the Nationals to the Athletics, Gomes has posted a 106 wRC+ in 2021—league average is 100—his best single-season number since 2014.
Gomes is 34 while d’Arnaud is 32. Despite their track records, they shouldn’t break the bank and may be available on short deals, especially d’Arnaud coming off an injury-shortened season. The Marlins could be in a nice position if they decide to go after one of them.
Another good thing is that both have played in the National League East division and have had success there. In fact, d’Arnaud is a .349/.419/.602 hitter across 24 career games in Marlins/LoanDepot Park.
Of course, the Marlins also have valuable pitching pieces that can be (and will be) traded in exchange for lineup improvements. They could go that route to acquire an impactful catcher—maybe re-engage the Cubs about Willson Contreras?
The upcoming offseason should be pretty exciting for the Marlins and we should expect plenty of action. In doing their detailed search for catchers, the names Travis d’Arnaud and Yan Gomes deserve real consideration.
Would you rather have: d’Arnaud or Gomes?
This poll is closed
Internal options are better