This is a new series where we‘ll be FanSided and have an interactive off-season. The Miami Marlins have an active off-season ahead and some plans have already been revealed. I‘ll primarily focus on the lineup and what changes do YOU think that we should do. We can probably reasonably assume that Bruce Sherman won’t let Kim Ng spend too much, so let’s stay on the realistic side. Reports talk about a modest raise to the payroll, so let’s assume at most a $30-$40 million increase in annual salaries.
Who should be the Miami Marlins catcher in 2023?
INTERNAL OPTIONS: The current catcher for The Fish is of course Jacob Stallings. Stallings had a -0.7 WAR and a .223/.292/.292 batting line with a 0.0 dWAR. He did however produce 3.0 WAR for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, with a 2.3 dWAR. Could he be a bounceback candidate? Stallings’s backup Nick Fortes is another option. He produced a 1.3 WAR (0.7 dWAR) with a .230/.304/.392 batting line in 2022.
FREE AGENCY: Mike Zunino had -0.8 WAR, -0.2 WAR and a .148/.195/.304 batting line in 2022. He did however bat .216/.301/.559 in 2021 with 33 home runs. He should cost a few million for 1-2 years. 1 year/$3 million is a possible contract.
Willson Conteras is the top catching option in free agency. He had a 3.9 WAR in 2022, with a 0.5 dWAR and a .243/.349/.466 batting line. Conteras will cost a draft pick and will likely cost around 4-5 years/$16 million a year. $20 million can’t be ruled out either.
Christian Vázquez produced 2.1 WAR and 1.6 dWAR in 2022. He also has a .274/.315/.399 batting line with 9 HR and 52 RBI. 3 years/$10 million a year is the likely cost.
TRADE OPTIONS: Yasmani Grandal of the Chicago White Sox should be available. He’s coming off a terrible year in which he batted .202/.301/.269 and produced -1.5 WAR and -0.7 dWAR. He also comes on a 1 year/$18.25 million contract. Chicago will likely eat some of it, maybe even half. He’d cost almost nothing in prospects and possibly can be had straight up for Jacob Stallings. Grandal had a 3.7 WAR in 2021 with 23 HR and a .240/.420/.520 batting line. Can he bounce back?
A. Stick with Jacob Stallings and Nick Fortes. Stallings can potentially bounce back.
B. Sign Willson Contreras, but only have $15-20 million left in annual salaries for other players.
C. Sign Mike Zunino for 1 year/$3 million.
D. Sign Christian Vazquez but have $30 million left for other players in annual salaries and not improve in power.
E. Trade for Yasmani Grandal, hoping that he bounces back.
What would YOU do?