The Miami Marlins are creating a catching competition for Spring Training

Curt Casali
Curt Casali / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The off-season started with the Miami Marlins needing significant help at the catcher position. The Fish brought in some help just a few weeks back. The help came in the form of Christian Bethancourt, who is expected to join Nick Fortes as part of the Major League catching tandem. What about depth in the Minors? There's an answer to that too now, with Curt Casali joining the team on a Minor League deal.

A catching competition might take place for the Miami Marlins in Spring Training.

The Miami Marlins smartly moved on from the disaster known as Jacob Stallings this off-season. Nick Fortes and Christian Bethancourt are a good catching tandem to have. Bethancourt might live up to some of his old hupe and actually break out. Fortes also showed some pop with the bat in the past., could more playing time lead to some sort of breakout?

There's something to be said about a good defensive catcher. Catching has increasingly become more defense-oriented, which means that having an elite defensive catcher may be more valuable than one that's bad defensively, but good offensively. The Fish clearly have this in mind by bringing in Curt Casali on a Minor League deal.

Curt Casali is a 35 year old veteran of 10 Major League seasons. Literally a decade of high quality defensive production at catcher. He played from 2014-2017 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent 2018-2020 with the Cincinnati Reds; 2021-2022 with the San Francisco Giants; he second half od 2022 with the Seattle Mariners and finally 2023 with the Cincinnati Reds again.

During that stretch, Curt Casali batted an abysmal .220/.314/.380. He has however been stellar defensively, typically grading out as an above average defender. Defense is the reason why teams tolerated his offense and why he was brought in by The Fish on a Minor League deal for the upcoming season.

Curt Casali has traditionally been a backup catcher and that is likely his best outcome in 2024. That said, both Nick Fortes and Christian Bethancourt will have to be careful, as bad performance or injury can give Casali a shot to return to the Major Leagues. Of course, he might make it back after Spring training instead.

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