Yesterday the Miami Marlins traded catcher John Baker to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc is a young left handed pitcher who has had limited work in the majors since 2008. His most active season was in 2010 when he started 25 games for the Padres. He went 8-12 with a 4.25 ERA. He had a WHIP of 1.42 and an opposing batting average of .279.
This move potentially tells us two things. First, the Marlins are comfortable going in to 2012 with John Baker starting at catcher and having Brett Hayes back him up. Second, I feel as if this move was a back up plan in case they do not succeed in trading for Gio Gonzalez or in signing Mark Buerhle. The team has wanted to add a lefty pitcher to the rotation for some time, and if they do not succeed with their top two goals, they will have LeBlanc ready to start. LeBlanc does have a few minor league options still available, so they can send him to the minors to work on things if he does not succeed or if the Marlins do sign Gio Gonzalez or Mark Buerhle.
I am slightly upset at the Marlins trading John Baker. John Buck is the starter, but I think Baker would have been a better back up than Brett Hayes. I like Hayes, but if you gave me a choice between the two I would choose Baker. He is coming off of Tommy John Surgery and hasn’t played a full year since 2009, but in the time that he has played with us he has been a good catcher. In 2009 he posted a .271/.349/.410 split. A lot of teams would love that type of production from their catcher position.
Also, one tidbit about Wade LeBlanc: He is cousins with actor Matt LeBlanc.