Marlins expected to pick up Mathis’ option

MIAMI — Before turning their attention to the free agent market next week, the Marlins have some internal business to resolve. Will they pick up the $1.5 million club option on catcher Jeff Mathis?

The answer is yes.

According to sources, the Marlins anticipate exercising Mathis’ option.

Mathis, 31, has impressed the organization with his ability to handle the pitching staff, as well as his defensive skills. In 2015, he once again is expected to back up Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

In 64 games last year, Mathis batted .200 with two homers and 12 RBIs. But his value is his defense, and ability to work with the staff.

The Marlins have a talented group of young pitchers, and retaining Mathis continues the continuity. He posted a .998 fielding percentage in 473 2/3 innings, and threw out 16 attempting to steal.

As an organization, the Marlins have some of their best catching depth in years. Saltalamacchia is entering his second season of a three-year deal, and Mathis will be back for his third season in Miami.

J.T. Realmuto is regarded as the catcher of the future, who could be a year or two away from becoming a regular.

The Marlins acquired Mathis in November of 2012 as part of their 12-player trade with the Blue Jays.

Joe Frisaro

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