According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins are making the first big free agent signing this offseason by closing in on a three-year deal with All-Star catcher John Buck. The contract is believed to worth anywhere between $15 million and $20 million.
Buck, 30, had his best season offensively in 2010 with the Toronto Blue Jays, hitting .281 with 20 homers and 66 RBIs in 118 games.
Defensively, Buck ranked 5th in the American League with a .994 fielding percentage and caught 28 percent of base runners in 2010. He has also named to his first All-Star game after an injury paved the way for him to play.
Buck would fill the need for the Marlins who have John Baker who underwent Tommy John surgery and he may not be at full strength come Opening Day. The Marlins went with an array of catchers after Baker's injury and Ronny Paulino's suspension for performance enhancing drugs.
It is also worth noting the signing of Buck makes him the Florida Marlins' first major free agent signing since the Carlos Delgado signing of 2005 when he signed for four years and $52 million.
If indeed the John Buck deal is wrapped up, it would take away the Marlins need for a catcher in a potential Dan Uggla trade.