Report: Martin is seeking a four-year deal

According to a tweet from Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Russell Martin is seeking a four-year contract at $9-10M per year. Marchand doesn’t think the Yankees would be inclined to sign Martin under those terms and frankly, I’m not sure they would either. Does that mean I think the Yankees won’t re-sign him? Not necessarily. If David Ross can get a two-year/$6.2 M deal as a backup, Martin should probably get more as a starter. Plus, the catcher FA market is thin with only Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski as the other high ticket items and few guys who weren’t starting catchers for their teams in 2012 as the other choices.

Martin as highly coveted as he is – reports have said that he has met with multiple teams – had a rough year at the dish in 2012. Even though he belted a career-high in home runs (21), Martin batted an abysmal .211 while spending the majority of the season under .200. But on the flip side, Martin is a good defensive catcher – he fields well and is a good pitch framer, he knows how to work with the newly re-signed Hiroki Kuroda and the OPS+ 94 he’s posted so far in his Yankee career turned out to be the league average for catchers in 2012.

So what happens next? With the Yankees reportedly finishing up deals with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera this week, does this mean Martin will be next? It should make the Winter Meetings a lot more interesting. Stay tuned.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

15 thoughts on “Report: Martin is seeking a four-year deal

  1. George

    Look, Martin is a liability overall except when you see the Yankees hoarding money. Then he becomes desirable? What ever happened to the team that had Berra, Howard, Munson, etc.? The Yankees are well on there way to mediocrity so I suppose the bloggers can exalt him as a "good pitch framer".

    Martin wouldn't have made the team back in the day…..

    • Urban

      What team? The same team that had the likes of Rick Cerone and Jerry Narron and Jake Gibbs and Butch Wynegar and Don Slaught and Bob Geren and….

  2. uyf1950

    Let's see,

    Martin at 4 years/$9 to $10MM per. – NO WAY
    Napoli is known to be looking for 4 years probably in the $9 or $10MM per range also – NO WAY
    A.J. Pierzynski at soon to be 36 years old will probably settle for 2 years at about $8MM per.

    Of those 3 options hands down in my opinion it's A.J. Pierzynski. I still say if the Yankees are intent on signing a FA go with someone like Yorvit Torrealba for 1 or even 2 years on the cheap. A lot of upside there and no downside and he's a decent defensive catcher.

  3. a57se

    The only reason Martin is a consideration is Joe Girardi has a soft spot for no hit good catch catchers…..they remind him of himself…..please don't resign this guy.

    • uyf1950

      Actually it's Cashman who has a soft spot for him more than Girardi.

  4. jay_robertson

    I don't care WHO has a soft spot for him – although I sincerely hope it isn't Randy L.

    A lot of folks wanted him off the team when he couldn't hit his weight – now, just because there are no better options, he's worth 9 or ten mil a year, until the end of time? Please – no. I'd rather take Franco, and free up the money for someone else – maybe a better option for backup at 3rd/short? Or a decent RH outfielder?

    What happened to LAST year's backup catcher? I'd rather take HIM on the cheap, with Franco at backup, than give Martin the money due a decent player.

    • BrienJackson

      "because there are no better options, he's worth 9 or ten mil a year, until the end of time? "

      1. Yes, this is how scarcity works.

      2. "Until the end of time" being defined as a 3-4 year contract for a player who isn't 30 yet, anyway.

      • jay_robertson

        True – but the Yankees got Martin in the first place because his previous team thought he was washed up at THAT point. Two years ago.

        Don't see that having a happy ending 4 years down the road.

        I get that its "just" four years; but didn't the last two with Pavano seem like an eternity? :)

        • Urban

          No. The Yankees got Martin because his then team, the Dodgers, had an owner, Frank McCourt, in a financial mess who decided they couldn't afford Martin's arbitration award because there was a question about his hip at the time, now since cleared.

          Yes, the Yankees can let Martin leave and they will be two to three wins worse if they go with the Cervelii's, Romine's and, gasp, Stewart's of the world. They're already down four wins in RF.

          • jay robertson

            My mistake – I thought it was health. He IS 100% now? Ok. thanks – did NOT know that.

          • BrienJackson

            Probably a little of both. But as far as health goes, he's basically been fine for two whole seasons now, so probably no need to be inordinately worried about that.

  5. Ralph

    Catcher would be a good position for the Yankees to save some money for the 2014 189MM payroll. None of the options at catcher will provide much offense anyway, so find a good defensive catcher and hope for the best. Maybe Romine will find himself this year at AAA.

    • srosegots

      Romaine was able to stay healthy in the AFL but his history of back issues, worries me a tad.

  6. Dan

    I'd go, max 3/24, and preferably 3/21. He just cannot hit at all. They can get a defensive specialist catcher to hit .200 for less than that–even if it's two guys platooning.

  7. lazlosother

    Martin for 3 years at $10M per isn't a bad deal. He's been worth more than $10M per year for NY according to fWAR, and the options aren't that great. 3 years would give NY time to see how the young talent shakes out, while having a very cpable defensive catcher hold down the fort.

    $189M goal or not, if NY can't spend &10M a year for a position as important as chatcher, they aren't prioritizing as well as they could.

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