The Miami Marlins didn’t have a good season to say the least, but can fix the biggest culprit this off-season: hitting. One of the issues was the production that we received from the catcher position. Is it time to move on from Jacob Stallings and replace him with his backup Nick Fortes? Should The Fish look for a replacement? Or should we just give Stallings another chance? Let’s analyze our situation now…
The Miami Marlins have a dilemma at catcher that needs a resolution.
Jacob Stallings looked like an upgrade for us at the position, coming off a 3 WAR season with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. He was a complete disappointment with the Miami Marlins this season however, producing an atrocious -0.6 WAR. I’m not sure how it could go so badly but it did. Could he bounce back next season? This collapse has been so bad that it’s almost unbelievable that it could’ve happened.
Luckily the Miami Marlins have Jacob Stallings’s backup Nick Fortes and his .247/.324/.424 batting line and 1.5 WAR. Fortes’s breakout was very helpful to the Miami Marlins and helped us not have a negative WAR at the position. Fortes wasn’t exactly a superstar this season, but he’s been better than Stallings and it may make sense to give him a shot as a starter at this point.
Perhaps Bruce Sherman and Kim Ng want to make a real effort and go after the top catcher on the free agent market? I’m talking about Willson Contreras of course and his 3.8 WAR. Contreras will likely cost a draft pick (he’ll almost certainly be a qualifying offer recipient), but is clearly an elite catcher. He would be a definite upgrade over Jacob Stallings or Nick Fortes, but he also would cost quite a bit. I estimate 4 years/$16 million a year which is $64 million in total. Will Sherman pay him that amount?
It may be an unpopular opinion but I wouldn’t give up a draft pick for Willson Contreras, as I just don’t think that we should be giving them up unless we get a true superstar back. I would rather just give Jacob Stallings another chance with Nick Fortes ready to step-in. If neither gets the job done, then we pursue an upgrade next off-season.