Yankees avoid arbitration with Russell Martin

Diana Munson at Jorge Posada's Retirement Press Conference
Open Thread: Hip Hip

6:52pm: Via David Waldstein, Martin got $7.5M with another $100k in performance bonuses. Just under the midpoint, in terms of guaranteed money. Sweeny Murti said the two sides talked about a two-year deal, which would be ideal, really.

6:05pm: The Yankees announced that they’ve avoided arbitration with Russell Martin by agreeing to a one-year contract. No word on the terms yet, but Russ filed for $8.2M while the team countered with $7M last week. Splitting the difference and calling it $7.6M seems fair enough. Martin is eligible for free agency after this coming season, and there’s been some speculation that the Yankees could look to sign him to a multi-year contract. That can still happen at any time, this deal doesn’t change that at all. The team’s only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player is Boone Logan.

Diana Munson at Jorge Posada's Retirement Press Conference
Open Thread: Hip Hip
  • Dropped Third

    I bet hes happy montero’s gone

    • Gonzo

      I bet Romine is happier.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Romine’s still trade bait with Martin here. Romine’s best case scenario still is worse than Martin.

        • Gonzo

          Your point? Being traded to a club who needs a MLB catcher would probably make him even happier.

          Romine is on the record as saying the Montero deal for Cliff Lee would have been good for him.

        • Ted Nelson

          I would say that Romine’s “best case scenario” is a bit better than Martin is right now, and Martin is also here for one year right now.

        • JU

          Russel Martin is a league average player. UR either over estimating him or undervaluing Romine. Romine may not hit for the same power as Martin but he may hit higher than .235 And get on base more than 32% of the time.

          Regardless, I’m not sure how anyone could definitively say that Martin is $7mil better than Romine.

          • Ted Nelson

            New metrics attempting to quantify C defense show Martin in a much more favorable light than that.

            Romine also had a wOBA his second season in AA that barely topped Martin’s MLB wOBA.

            It might be you who is underestimating Martin or overrating Romine.

      • BK2ATL

        Romine better improve or else Cashman will re-sign Martin for 2-3 years after 2012 to bridge the gap to Sanchez or Murphy, and put Romine on the block. The pitchers love throwing to Martin and love having him behind the plate.

        The goal behind signing Martin was to bridge the gap for a year or two, hoping that either Montero or Romine would improve enough to take control of that job. Neither did. One’s gone, the other….

        Romine better show something in ST and put pressure on Cervelli….or he’ll find the same fate as Montero.

        • Gonzo

          Ok. So Romine shouldn’t be happier?

          • BK2ATL

            Forget him being happy. He better improve this year. They are willing to sign Martin to a longer term deal, and probably will if Romine doesn’t show vast improvement in 2012.

            • Gonzo

              I think all Yankee prospects should improve this year. If you want just Romine to imrpove and no one else, that’s weird.


              • BK2ATL

                No one mentioned other Yankees prospects. I was speaking specifically about Romine, and the ramifications on HIM not improving. As commented by many of the scouts, he regressed last year.

                There will be specific implications if Romine doesn’t improve, such as Martin being re-signed for a 2-3 year deal. I’ll go out on the limb and guess that Cervelli won’t cost more than $1 million/yr to back up Martin, but at least they could trust him periodically with the staff.

                Of course, we all want all Yankees prospects to improve.

        • Steve (different one)

          Even if Martin gets 2-3 years, Romine can still be the backup. Don’t really follow this. Do you think the Yankees are going to keep Cervelli once he starts making real money in a year or two?

          • BK2ATL

            Who would be a better trade chip, Romine or Cervelli? One will bring back more than the other.

            At this stage, neither can be definitively considered Martin’s successor.

          • MannyGeee

            bold to assume a backup catcher with no stand out skill is gonna make ‘real money’…

            Unless you count fist pumping and silly putty face, oh and being trilingual as skill sets… not sure how all those play out in arbitration hearings though. But bet you if he had Boras as an agent, he could binder the shit outta that stuff!

  • Robinson Tilapia

    The Montero trade looks worse daily.


    • 28 this year

      Arb for Martin has absolutely nothing to do with Montero. They were exploring a multi year deal with Martin before trading Montero, that should let you know that they never intended to have Montero be more than a backup catcher if even that.

  • Curtis

    So Romine for 2013, then? If the yanks think he’s ready, I’d rather go there than locking into Martin long term.

    • Dropped Third

      Id like to see romine backing up at some point this year then. To send a rookie backstop out there with cervelli as a backup is kind of scary.

  • Mike Myers

    2013 = Napoli?

    • Will (the other one)

      Mike Napoli’s not all that great. Questionable value and not a guy I want in my clubhouse.


      Mike Scioscia

      • Thomas Cassidy

        That’s because he got Vernon Wells eventually. Why don’t you understand this?

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think they will go with Romine after this year instead of resigning Martin.

  • UYF1950

    “the Yankees could look to sign him to a multi-year contract. That can still happen at any time, this deal doesn’t change that at all.”

    What does change it is the Yankees desire to get to the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014. That effective means the Yankees can NOT afford Martin or his roughly $8 to $10MM salary come the 2014 season. Look for Romine to be behind the plate by 2014 for sure if not sooner.

    • Ted Nelson

      They can re-sign Martin and stay under that budget.

      • UYF1950

        I beg to differ, but you have a right to your opinion.

        • Ted Nelson

          $78.5 mill CC, A-Rod, Tex, and Jeter (if he picks up his option).

          Cano and Granderson re-signed, say $20 mill per each.

          Arb-1 Nunez, Nova, Pineda. Say $10-15 mill.
          Arb-2 Cervelli, Wade. Say $3 mill.
          Arb-3 Robertson, Gardner. Say $12.

          You’re at $143.5-148.5 mill.

          Re-sign Martin at $8 mill per.
          Fill out BP for $5 mill total.
          Minimum guys at UTL, 4th OF, last bench spot, last two rotation spots: $2.5 million.

          $159-164 million gives you $26-30 million to fill RF + DH (if A-Rod isn’t there), and costs associated with health care and whatever else is included in luxury tax… any extra there could go towards shoring up weaknesses not filled internally… free agent relief help or a 5th starter or replacing an injury…

          The arb numbers are crude estimates, but my point is that they have some wiggle room.

          • UYF1950

            I won’t go through each of your categories one by one but just for reference I’ll point out the errors in your calculations in just the first category: A-Rod, CC, Tex and Jeter.

            MLB calculates the luxury tax on a players AAV.
            A-Rod signed a 10year/$275MM contact = $27.5MM per
            CC signed a 5year/$122MM contract = $24.4MM per
            Tex signed a 8year/$180MM contract = $22.5MM per
            Jeter if he exercises his option his contract amounts to 4years/$56MM = $14MM per

            Those 4 total for the purpose of MLB luxury tax: $88.4MM NOT $78.5 as you have noted.

            And I’ve not included any of the “milestone incentives” for A-Rod that would inflate that total even more or all the incentives in Jeter’s contract. A-Rod is 37 HR’s away from the Mays milestone incentive and 85 HR’s away from the Ruth milestone incentive. I would think he’ll reach Mays in very early 2013 and there is a good chance he will reach Ruth’s before the end of the 2014 campaign.

            Like I said in my first reply I beg to differ with you. But you have a right to your opinion.

            • Steve (different one)

              I think Jeter will be counted at $8M, not $14M. The Yankees are paying luxury tax on the $17M for the guaranteed portion of his deal in 2012-2013. Then in 2014, they would just pay on the $8M.

              You are correct about ARod’s HR bonuses.

              • Ed

                Jeter counts as less than that. There’s a $3M guaranteed buyout, so that’s included with the rest of the guaranteed money when calculating the AAV. If he picks up the option, they won’t get double-taxed on the $3M. They only get taxed on the new money, so he would only be $5M against 2014.

            • Ted Nelson

              Sort of funny that in trying to be a smartass you’re wrong.

              I didn’t say my numbers are perfect, but there’s some grace room in the money I had left over to cover A-Rod.

              It’s not an opinion, by the way. It’s 100 percent fact that the Yankees can re-sign Martin and stay under. Whether they should is a matter of opinion. I din’t even say they should (few factors to consider), I said they can.

              • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley Ned Telson

                At least we meet…

                And its 100 percent fact that I can get a good look at a T-bone steak by shoving my head up a bull’s as, but I’d rather take my butchers word for it.

  • Filppula51

    They should of locked him up longer one of the best catchers in the game it would be a shame to let him go

    • Rey22

      Martin was very good, but to call him one of the “best catchers in the game” might be overdoing it a bit. He’s very solid defensively and fairly good with the bat.

      • lightSABR

        I think the recent statistical work has been showing that the importance of catcher defense has been vastly underrated, especially pitch framing, and it turns out that Martin’s one of the best in the game. I can’t remember the numbers, but they were substantial–more than enough to make up for the offensive difference between Martin and Montero, or even Jorge Posada in his heyday.

        You always have to take new stats work with a grain of salt, but if pitch framing is baseball’s undervalued commodity, I’m glad to see the Yankees investing.

      • bonestock94

        Idk, catching is thin. Probably fair to put him in the top 10.

  • Filppula51

    They should of locked him up longer one of the best catchers in the game it would be a shame to let him go.

  • vin

    If the Yankees are to meet their alleged 2014 budget goals, then will almost certainly need Romine (or some other league minimum player) to be the catcher in 2014. The Yankees are going to need some low cost everyday players to occupy key roles on the team. Guys like Banuelos, Romine, Betances, and Warren are the most likely candidates. It’s doubtful that the Slade, Williams, Culver, and Sanchez group will be ready to contribute in 2014. Maybe some of the recently drafted college relievers can make some noise by then.

    I can only see them extending Russell if they plan on dealing Romine to fill another need (part of a package for a low cost OFer?), similar to the Montero-Pineda deal.

  • BK2ATL

    Russell Martin is a MLB catcher, point blank. Defensively, he’s getting his proper respect around MLB. Offensively, he wasn’t too much of a liability and actually brought something to the offense in occasional pop and speed. I think his numbers will improve in 2012. And most importantly, all of the pitchers love throwing to him.

    I’d be okay with having Martin behind the plate to catch CC, Pineda, Kuroda, Nova, Banuelos, Betances, Joba, Robertson etc. for the next 3 years or more.