Mike Cameron does not have some official standing to speak on behalf of Marlins fans or anything. But he did end his career in a Marlins uniform, and was able, for a little while, to see the workings of that place. Based on this interview he gave to Maureen Mullen of CSNNewEngland.com, those workings are pretty ugly.
He goes on about how no free agent who has a choice of teams will ever play for the Marlins given the lack of stability there, and says this about the overall situation:
“It just kind of pissed me off the way they’re doing things and baseball is kind of allowing it. That’s ridiculous. Basically, they lied to the people, they lied to everybody. You get a new stadium and then this happens? That’s not good for baseball.”
I think those are the two salient points here: (1) the lying to people about the team’s direction against the backdrop of the stadium deal and their claim that a ballpark would make it all better; and (2) baseball doing absolutely nothing about it.
The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.