The Marlins made an early strike to fill their need for a starting catcher, officially signing John Buck to a three-year, $18MM deal today. The three-year term comes as no surprise, given the extra years given to free agent catchers last offseason. It's the Marlins' biggest free agent splash since Carlos Delgado's four-year, $52MM deal in January of 2005. Nice work by Buck's agents at ACES; players signing early are doing well so far this offseason. The Marlins' pricey free agent expenditure was made possible in part by their removal of Dan Uggla's salary.
Buck provides the Fish certainty behind the plate with John Baker going down in September for Tommy John surgery and Ronny Paulino a non-tender candidate. The Red Sox were also known to be interested in Buck.
Buck, 30, hit .281/.314/.489 in 437 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year, logging 933 innings behind the dish. He signed with Toronto for just $2MM after being non-tendered by the Royals. Buck is a Type B free agent, so the Blue Jays will receive a supplemental round draft pick for their loss.
Ed Price of AOL FanHouse first tweeted the Marlins were working hard to sign Buck, while Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post tweeted that the signing was official. In between, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provided all other developments and details.