Yankees have yet to make offer to Martin

Here’s something for the early offseason surprises file: according to George King the Yankees have yet to make an offer to gfree agent catcher Russell Martin. In fact, with Hiroki Kuroda re-signed, the Yankees have yet to make an offer to any free agents, including Mariano Rivera. That they haven’t made any offers to Mo or Andy Pettitte, who has yet to officially declare that he’s even going to play next season, doesn’t really surprise me all that much, given that there’s basically no chance they’re playing for another team in 2013, but you would have thought there would have been more of a sense of urgency with Martin, who could be a relatively hot commodity this winter. Instead, King reports that the Yankees intend to wait to do anything on Martin until they have deals in place with Rivera and Pettitte.

That strikes me as a fairly risky proposition, because the free agent catching market is a veritable dessert. If you don’t count Mike Napoli as a starting catcher, which you shouldn’t, the only guys who fit that bill are Martin and the near-40 A.J. Pierzynski, which should make Martin a prime target for any team in need of a catcher. According to King, “industry experts” expect Martin to get a three year contract with an annual salary in the $8-10 million range, which both seems about right to me and would be a bigger deal than the offer he reportedly turned down from the Yankees last season. But looking at the way the offseason is shaking out right now andknowing that there’s more television money flowing to every team, it wouldn’t surprise me to see his final contract exceed that amount of money.

The Yankees understandably made Kuroda their top priority this month, but a case could easily be made that Martin is their most irreplaceable free agent, given the lack of alternatives both on the market and in house. That they want to square away what will surely be one year deals with two team legends who aren’t going anywhere before making a serious attempt to get Martin re-signed doesn’t really give me a good feeling as to how the rest of the hot stove season is going to go.

About Brien Jackson

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.

11 thoughts on “Yankees have yet to make offer to Martin

  1. I have a feeling the Yankees 2013 catcher is currently employed by another team and will be acquired via trade after some team desperate for catching (Texas) overpays Martin.

  2. I doubt very seriously that Martin is in the Yankees future. Color me surprised if they offer him any more then 1 year and about $8MM if he walks that's fine with me. If the Yankees are going to offer a FA catcher 2 years I'd rather it be A.J. Pierzynski. Just my opinion. If any of the FA catchers want more then 2 years I'd wait it out and see what's available on the trade market.

  3. Just curious, It's very very doubtful that the Twins are going to be a force in the AL Central for the next couple of years after two 90 plus losing seasons. I wonder what the possibility is of them being open to trading Ryan Doumit is? He's under team control through the 2014 season and he is very affordable. A switch hitter with nice power especially versus RHP as a lefty.

  4. Doumit is not a good catcher. He'd be a great super utility guy (DH, 1B and corner OF who also catches), but it's not a good fit on the current roster. Pierzynski is certainly a possibility, but there's something about his act that makes bringing him in a potential problem. Martin fits well on this team and a 2-3 year deal averaging about $8 mil per isn't outrageous. Although Rey22 raises an interesting possibility about the 2013 catcher coming via a trade. That may be the blockbuster move that Cashman springs on us every so often when we least expect it.

    • Why do you say he's not a very good catcher? Granted he may not be a full time catcher but his numbers for the Twins in 2012 for the 228 PA's as a catcher look pretty good to me. Certainly better then what we've gotten from Martin offensively in 2012. And he's thrown out about 22% of runners attempting to steal which is pretty close to what Martin did.
      As for your other comments about his other positions. The Yankees could use someone to fill in at 1st to relieve Tex just as Swisher did. And when necessary he can fill in in the outfield. Sounds to me like he's almost a perfect fit. But that's just my opinion.
      Platoon him with either Cervelli or Stewart for a year or 2 and then hopefully in not before then maybe Romine is ready to catch.
      Don't get me wrong my 1st preference would be A.J. but I don't think Doumit is that bad of a fall back position.

  5. Yankees need to lock him up soon before someone else does. He might not be the greatest, but there is next to no one available that is actually close to his talent level.

  6. Unless they're convinced that Martin is the second coming of Jason Varitek behind the plate, the Ynakees should let him walk

  7. To get under the magic $189 million in 2014, the Yankees will have to trade Granderson before they sign Martin to a long term deal. I think that's their plan going into the Winter meetings. Re-sign Rivera, Petitte, Capt. Clutch (Ibanez), and Ichiro, trade Grandy for prospects, and then re-sign Martin. If they can't trade Grandy, they'll go with Romero as their #1 catcher…it's time for him to poop or get off the pot anyway. And don't forget, if Mo doesn't re-sign, we can gamble on Aardsma, Robertson, or Joba the Hutt taking the closer reigns. And we also have Montgomery coming up from the minors this season, probably. I tihnk we're OK going into the season if we re-sign Rivera, Petitte, Ibanez, and Ichiro. But we have to get younger soon!

    • I think you meant Romine NOT Romero. Also, Romine missed most of the 2012 season with a bad back and didn't do that great in the AFL. It won't be until the Sept. 2013 call ups or 2014 before anyone sees him in Yankee Pinstrpes. Sanchez probable has and is a much better option for the Yankees as a full time catcher but that won't be until the 2015 season if he stay on track.

  8. I find it odd that after,almost 30 years of organizational philosophy valuing bar over glove from catcher (I mean this is a LONG standing tradition. Wynegar, Nokes, Stanley, Leyritz, Posada) the team has swung a 180. just strange. Martin is clearly the markets best free agent catcher. Which says more about the fact that there are literally like 10 true starting good catchers in the game. That being said Napoli or Doumit fit this teams 30,year M.o. And in fact an offense first approach to catching has been,the norm,in ny for almost 60 years now.