As MLB Trade Rumors reported it, the Braves coughed up a lot of money for one of the only viable options at catcher on the free-agent market:
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) December 3, 2021
According to their sources, the Marlins were in on new Braves catcher Manny Pina before the Braves doubled the money Miami offered:
Pina was another player the Marlins lost to a division rival, as while the Fish offered Pina $4MM on a one-year deal, the Braves doubled that offer and signed Pina for two years and $8MM. However, the Marlins instead landed a longer-term target in Jacob Stallings, acquiring the backstop from the Pirates for a three-player trade package. Interestingly, Jackson/Mish write that the Red Sox came very close to trading for Stallings, which would have indicated the Sox were ready to move on from Christian Vazquez either next winter (2022 is Vazquez’s last year under contract) or perhaps this offseason if a trade partner could have been found.
This was a smart move by Alex Anthopoulos; not only was the lockout looming, but the catcher market was absolutely abysmal. I actually mentioned trading for Stallings a few times, but I much prefer the signing of Pina. He’s a rock-solid defensive catcher with a .732 OPS in 2021 — that will play as a backup for a defending World Champion.