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.