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Marlins Close To Deal With Saltalamacchia

4:27pm: Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel reports that the Marlins have offered three years and $21MM (Twitter link). Passan hears that the Marlins are "closing in" on a deal with Saltalamacchia that is in the three-year, $22MM range.

4:03pm: The Marlins are the "extreme" favorites to land Saltalamacchia after offering a three-year deal worth as much as $8MM per season, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

3:58pm: The Marlins have made a three-year offer to Saltalamacchia, who is in Miami to meet with the team today, a person with direct knowledge of the talks tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Berardino says that the Twins have moved on from their pursuit of catchers and will go with promising rookie Josmil Pinto as their main catcher in 2014 (Twitter links).

2:58pm: Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (on Twitter) hears that Salty is headed to the Marlins.

1:55pm: The Rangers won't pursue a reunion with Saltalamacchia, a source tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).

1:03pm: The Marlins have offered Saltalamacchia a two-year deal with a club option for a third season, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link).

12:23pm: The Marlins and Twins remain in pursuit of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports (also via Twitter) that Salty's market is moving quickly enough that he could sign prior to next week's Winter Meetings.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities adds that there's an industry sense that the two teams will have to present Saltalamacchia with their final offers in the next day or so. According to Wolfson, the Twins will have to outbid the Marlins to land Saltalamacchia, who is a South Florida native. However, Wolfson also says that Saltalamacchia is "definitely on board" with becoming a Twin (Twitter links).

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out that not only do Saltalamacchia and his family reside in Wellington, Fla. (less than 70 miles from Marlins Park), the state has no income tax, meaning the Twins could have to spend significantly more than the Marlins (Twitter link).

Saltalamacchia is the top remaining catcher on the free agent market now, and nearly every other starting-caliber backstop has already found a new home early in the offseason. The switch-hitter batted .273/.338/.466 with 14 homers last season, but he also struck out in nearly 30 percent of his plate appearances and posted just a .628 OPS as a right-handed batter.

It's unclear whether or not the Twins have made an offer to this point, but the Marlins reportedly have already done so. Of course, another team could jump into the mix late in the game. The White Sox are one team that could still use an upgrade behind the plate, though that's solely my own speculation.








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