The Miami Marlins may have found their backup catcher to begin the 2013 season. The team agreed to terms with catcher Miguel Olivo, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 28, 2013
The need for a backup catcher arrived early in camp for the Marlins when catcher Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone. Without a real replacement in camp, former first round pick Kyle Skipworth was seen as the favorite to backup starter Rob Brantly.
However, with Skipworth never playing a game above Double-A, the Marlins and manager Mike Redmond wanted a more experienced catcher backing up Brantly. It also did not help Skipworth’s case that he is a left-handed hitter like Brantly.
Olivo, 34, hit .222/.239/.381 in 323 plate appearances for the Mariners last year. Olivo played with the Marlins from 2006-2007, when he hit 32 home runs in 249 games. Olivo has the fourth most home runs among active catchers with 141.
Olivo appeared in 21 Spring Training games for the Cincinnati Reds. Olivo went 6-f0r-36 with the Reds with one home run. He struck out 13 times and walked only twice.
With the signing of Olivo, the Marlins will need to make five or six roster moves to get the 40-man roster all squared away. One player from the 40-man roster is already on his way out, as the Marlins are exploring trade avenues for Gorkys Hernandez. Chris Coghlan was told he was making the team earlier today, making Hernandez expandable.
Update 8:15 PM:
Olivo deal with #Marlins $800K. Signed 45-day waiver. Fish can release him within that period and not owe him rest of salary.
— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) March 29, 2013
That makes sense, as the Marlins will have no spot on the team for Olivo once Jeff Mathis returns from injury.