As we celebrate Mariano Rivera’s inevitable homecoming, here’s something juicy for your late-night dreams: The Yankees, reports Michael S. Schmidt of The Times, were on the verge of trading Francisco Cervelli to the Dodgers in exchange for Russell Martin. The Yankees and Dodgers exchanged medicals on Wednesday, but the deal seemed to slip away shortly before the non-tender deadline at midnight. The Dodgers eventually decided to drop Martin, and the Yanks could take a flier on him without surrendering Cervelli — my favorite Yankee punching bag.
Martin would be an intriguing addition to the Yanks. As a 24-year-old in 2007, he hit .293/.374/.469 with 19 home runs, but health problems have slowed him down of late. Due to an issue with his hip labrum, he played just 97 games in 2010 and hit only .248/.347/.332. Still, his walk rate has been above 10.8 percent for the past four years, and when healthy, he’s a very solid defensive catcher. He’d definitely be an upgrade over Cervelli, and he’s one upon whom the Yanks will probably keep an eye this month.