Rockies eye Paulino, Baker recovering

Non-tendered recently by the Marlins, catcher Ronny Paulino is expected to garner a bit of attention at the Winter Meetings.

Now a free agent, Paulino is on the radar of the Rockies, who are looking for a veteran backup for Chris Iannetta.

Russell Martin and Benji Molina also have been linked as possibilities for Colorado.

Paulino became expendable after Florida signed free agent John Buck to a three-year, $18 million contract.

Florida is not seeking backup catching help.

John Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery to his right elbow, projects to eventually back up Buck. Because of the surgery, Baker is not expected to be at full throwing strength at the start of Spring Training.

However, Baker is a candidate to make the Opening Day roster as perhaps a left-handed pinch-hitter. Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest noted recently that Baker is being viewed in the lefty pinch-hit role, even if he isn’t ready to play defensively.

In that scenario, Brad Davis and Brett Hayes would have strong chances to make the team as the second string catcher.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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