Miami Marlins trade for Christian Bethancourt and have their Catcher for 2024, is he a good fit?

Welcome to the club Christian Bethancourt!

Sep 23, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Rays catcher Christian Bethancourt (14)
Sep 23, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Christian Bethancourt (14) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins countinued their good relations with the Cleveland Guardians Sunday as they traded cash considerations for seven year veteran catcher Christian Bethancourt. The Marlins were trade partners at the deadline with the Guardians, enabling them to add superstar Josh Bell. After the Marlins non-tendered veteran catcher Jacob Stallings almost a month ago they have been searching for his replacement and they finally have him. Will he pan out better than the departed Stallings or will he be another full platoon candidate with Nick Fortes like Stallings was last year? 

Marlins trade for catcher Christian Bethancourt

Bethancourt has familiarity with Peter Bendix as he played the 2023 season for Tampa Bay. The Guardians just claimed Bethancourt on November 6th from the Rays off waivers. The Guardians needed to free up a roster spot for Austin Hedges who they just signed to a one year deal so the Marlins were welcome to have him. 

Bendix knows what he can offer and he is not a free agent until 2026. Bethancourt has three postseason appearances to his resume and has a decent 2023 campaign. Bethancourt hit .225 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, and 16 doubles last season, yet struck out 27% of the time. Not the best of stat lines, and paltry compared to what other free agents might have produced. He did throw out 23% of would be base stealers, which is an improvement from Stallings. 

This trade tells me that this modest upgrade from Stallings allows Bendix to do more with shortstop and outfield/DH. If Bendix can put together a solid trade for a power hitting shortstop or an outfielder/DH, then it all makes sense. If this is just cheapskate ownership showing itself again, then it’s a real shame. Let’s hope for the former. The Marlins have plenty of room left in the budget for a quality shortstop and a power hitter DH. If they even spend decently with those two spots, it will be an improvement on last years roster and with Burger and Bell for a season we will compete. Do some magic Bendix! 

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