The Miami Marlins adding another past-his-prime veteran that couldn’t cut it with another team? Sure, why not.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 28, 2013
After all, the team already has a disparate mix of talent on the field that ranges from very young (Adeiny Hechavarria) contrasted with starters that are Placido Polanco-old; so in fact, the team signing catcher Miguel Olivo to back up Rob Brantly almost makes perfect sense.
Actually, that’d be true regardless of whether I’m being facetious. Age or not, this is actually a pretty decent move, consider that 2013 will be Brantly’s first season in the bigs as a full-time catcher, and though his .832 OPS 31-game stint (113 PA) in 2012 leaves a lot of room for hope, there’s also a whole lot of things that could go awry until that comes to fruition.
With incumbent backup (that’s not a term used very often) Jeff Mathis out until May after suffering a broken collarbone in his first Spring Training game, having a veteran presence behind 23-year old Brantly will be key to his acclimatization to the job.
It’s also something of a homecoming for Olivo, who was the Marlins primary catcher through a 2.4 fWAR stint between 2006 to 2007. The 11-year vet had been with the Cincinnati Reds camp to provide a little big of competition for Devin Mesoraco, but a .538 OPS spring campaign over 36-at bats meant that it turned out not to be much of a competition at all.
That said, the 34-year old may not actually be around very long with the Marlins either. The one-year deal worth $800,000 that he signed has an 45-day waiver clause, according to Juan Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, meaning that the Marlins can release the veteran and not owe him the rest of the money on his contract.
So, in other words, if Mathis is ready as expected by May, you can almost certainly expect that part of the contract to be exercised.
Hey, sounds like a Marlins way to doing business to me.