Should the Yankees lock up Russell Martin?

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

10 thoughts on “Should the Yankees lock up Russell Martin?

  1. Not to mention the ascension of prospects like Romine and longer term, Gary Sanchez.

  2. People like Kevin Goldstein don't project Romine as a starting catcher. Sanchez struggled mightily in A ball last year and could be two or three years away (if ever). All the new data we have from people like Mike Fast suggest that Martin is one of the top catchers in baseball. Losing him would be a major gaffe in my book. A three year deal seems mighty good at this point for a catcher like Russell Martin.

    • BrienJackson

      Well, most of the reason people are bearish on Romine is because of his lack of offense, so if Martin craters as a hitter, he's just an older, much more expensive, version of Romine in a sense.

  3. not Monetro's dad

    Also, Martin didn't do so well in months that don't begin with a letter A…I suppose part of the decision is how much the Yankees value his defensive abilities (e.g., framing pitches).

    I'm bearish on Martin, but I also wonder, if not Martin then who? Gary Sanchez and/or JR Murphy won't be ready for 2013. And if Romine is going to spend the entire year at AAA, I can't see him getting the starting job in 2013. Francisco Cervelli as a starting catcher is….ugh. That means that the Yankees woud probably need another stop gap for 2013, much in the same way Martin was (in theory) supposed to be a stop gap in 2011/2012 for Montero. Is there another stop gap out there? Or do the Yankes stick with the devil they know by extending Martin through, say, 2014?

    • williamjtasker

      not Montro's dad: I get what you're saying, but I don't believe the Yankees have a devil. According to research done by Bojan Kopravica, If new catching metrics were in place, Martin's WAR from last year is adjusted up to 4.6 and even with his nominal offense, that's a $17 million player. Once Martin can put two solid (injury free) seasons back to back, there's no way the Yankees with their current $184 million budget (Golly, I miss George), that Martin is going to get less on the free market than $35 million for three years.

      • williamjtasker

        Man, that was a poorly worded comment. Oh well.

  4. Dan

    I think it depends on the year he has, but I want to tread cautiously. This would hurt them hitting their payroll target. They still have a wealth of young catching coming up, even if it means going to Romine a bit early (and what he does in AAA this year will shape the decision). I'd rather they saved money for 2014 at C if it meant keeping both Cano and Grandy.

    Also, rightly or wrongly, they have the policy of not renewing contracts until it has expired, and it seems weird to go against that policy w/ Martin, if you're not going to do so w/ Cano.

    • BrienJackson

      I don't think they apply the same rules about contracts to arbitration years, necessarily. Martin is under contract, yes, but it's only a one-year arbitration settlement, not a multi-year deal.

  5. mikeNicoletti

    I'm bullish on Martin; I think he was extremely overused in the first quarter of the season and maybe even the first half. When Cervelli was out it was pretty much Martin or bust for every game. I think he has the potential to crush his totals of last year. On the other hand, I think the yankees would rather lock up Granderson and Cano, so I believe Romine will be the starting catcher in 2013 barring setbacks / injury. I'm not positive that is the best plan, but I would have no problem with that once you figure in the chances that Cano and Granderson hold their value relative to an injury prone catcher and the positional depth in the minors. Flipping that around once more, 3 for $30M does seem pretty reasonable considering the state of catching in the league and I would sign off on that move.

    Here's to hoping that someday someone calls my services reasonable at 10% of that cost!

  6. mcmastro

    This is a really tough call. The comparisons he's drawn to thurman munson are really great to see as a Yankee fan.

    The only problem is the money that it would probably cost. I could see him demanding north of $10 million a season if he puts together a better campaign this year (which i think he will, after all, it was his first real season back from injury last year). The Yankees have guys that could and would have to play for cheaper in Romine, Cervelli and Sanchez. As much as i only see Cervelli as a back-up, it's possible Romine and Sanchez could be starting caliber, with Sanchez even having star potential. I the long run, the longest i see Martin remaining with the team is until 2014 hits. Hopefully that will give the Yankees enough time to find out the potential of Romine and Sanchez.

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