The Marlins are keeping veteran catcher Jeff Mathis for the upcoming season.
The team has reportedly agreed to terms with its 32-year-old backup catcher on a one-year, $1.5 million deal, which would match what he earned during the 2015 season.
Mathis is considered a valuable clubhouse presence and has served as a mentor for Marlins starting catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is expected to enter the season as the team’s starter following a strong rookie year.
Mathis has also generally worked well with the Marlins’ pitching staff throughout his three seasons with the club.
Mathis’ key contributions come from his defense. He threw out five of the 16 runners who tried to steal on him last season and made only one error in 224 defensive chances.
Mathis only appeared in 32 games last season after breaking the ring finger on his right hand after being hit by a foul ball in early April. He missed nearly two months.
By the time Mathis returned to action, the Marlins had fallen out of contention. But Mathis is considered to have been a positive presence among the players during the difficult finish to the 2015 season.
Mathis has struggled at the plate throughout his career, however, hitting under .200 in two of the three seasons he has been with the Marlins. Last season, Mathis hit .161 with two home runs, four doubles, one triple and 12 RBI, with 15 hits in 93 at-bats.
The team originally acquired Mathis in the 12-player trade with the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2012 season that also brought pitcher Henderson Alvarez and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to Miami.