Miami Marlins swing trade with Cleveland Guardians to bolster catcher depth

Sep 23, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Whit Merrifield (15) is tagged out at home plate by .Tampa Bay Rays catcher Christian Bethancourt (14) in the seventh inning at Tropicana Field.

The Miami Marlins are beefing up their catcher depth with a player familiar to new president of baseball operations Peter Bendix.

The Marlins on Sunday acquired Christian Bethancourt from the Cleveland Guardians. The team is sending cash considerations to Cleveland in return.

Bethancourt, 32, is under team control for two more seasons and is projected to make $3.5 million in arbitration this season according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Bethancourt spent the past one-and-a-half seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, where Bendix was the team’s general manager before being hired by Miami. He has played in 366 games across seven MLB seasons, with 205 of those games coming in the past two seasons.

Defensively, he ranked in the 94th percentile in MLB last season in caught stealing above average and the 95th percentile in average pop time (1.87 seconds), according to Baseball Savant. Opponents successfully stole bases on 94.97 percent of their chances against the Marlins last season — the third-highest rate in MLB behind only the New York Mets (86.67 percent) and San Diego Padres (85.11 percent).

Offensively, Bethancourt has a career .231 batting average and .622 on-base-plus-slugging with 30 home runs and 113 RBI.

The Guardians claimed Bethancourt off waivers on Nov. 6 only to flip him to Miami about a month later.

Bethancourt joins Nick Fortes as catchers on Miami’s 40-man roster.

This is the second trade Bendix has swung since taking over the Marlins’ baseball operations department. He also acquired utility player Vidal Brujan and relief pitcher Calvin Faucher from the Rays on Nov. 17 for three prospects (infielder Erick Larra, pitcher Andrew Lindsey and outfielder Jake Mangum).

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