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Marlins Closing In On 3-Year Deal for Catcher John Buck

      ORLANDO -- It appears that the Marlins are on the verge of satisfying their catching needs as sources are confirming that the team is closing in on a 3-year deal for free agent catcher John Buck.

        The seven-year major league veteran enjoyed his best season in 2010 when he hit .287 with 20 home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays and earned his first All-Star appearance.

         Buck spent his first six seasons in the majors with the Kansas City Royals and owns a career batting average of .243 to go with a low .301 on-base percentage, which is partly the result of his high strikeout rate of about one whiff in every four at bats.

         With uncertainty surrounding John Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Marlins decided to make catching a priority. Ronny Paulino handled most of the catching chores last season for the Marlins before receiving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. 

         Buck's deal is reportedly worth more than $15 million, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.

         Because Buck is classified as a Type B free agent, the Marlins will not be required to forfeit a draft pick.

         The Marlins are moving quickly this offseason to revamp the roster. On Friday, they traded pitcher Andrew Miller to the Boston Red Sox for left-handed reliever Dustin Richardson. On Saturday, they dealt outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Padres for right-handed relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica.

          And they're presently gauging trade interest in second baseman Dan Uggla, who turned down their four-year, $48 million contract offer.