The Marlins made it official on Wednesday. They signed catcher John Buck to a three-year deal totaling $18 million.
"We wanted a big, durable, experienced, frontline catcher, and we identified John early in the process," said Larry Beinfest, Marlins' president of baseball operations. "He comes with a reputation as a strong leader (and) smart game-caller."
Beinfest said the Marlins contacted Buck's agent at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday a week ago when the free agent signing period began.
The Marlins are not counting on John Baker to be ready for the start of the season. Baker is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be pushed in spring training. That means either Brett Hayes or Brad Davis will handle the back-up duties for Buck.