Cashman: No extension talks with Martin until after the season

Open Thread: 2/24 Camp Notes
Video & Musings: Rafael DePaula

Via George King and Andrew Marchand, Brian Cashman put an end to all the Russell Martin contract extension speculation by saying the two sides have agreed to not discuss a new deal until the winter. “We will talk at the end of the season,” said the GM, while agent Matt Colleran added “[we] mutually agreed to wait.”

The Yankees and Martin were discussing a new three-year contract earlier this week depending on who you ask, with the team reportedly willing to do three years and $20M. That would be a pay cut for the backstop, but it is just a first offer. As I’ve been saying, three years and $25-30M seems reasonable, though I would prefer if it covered 2012-2014 rather than 2013-2015. The Yankees will have the five-day exclusive negotiating window after the end of the World Series to re-sign Martin before he hits the open market.

Open Thread: 2/24 Camp Notes
Video & Musings: Rafael DePaula
  • Rich in NJ

    I don’t think any extension is a prudent risk until he shows that he can remain healthy for another season, and at this point, I would much rather see them sign Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, or Mike Napoli, if they become available, and depending on how they allocate their budget.

    • The Guns of Navarone

      + 1

      I was just about to say the same thing. Make him show you he can stay healthy another season, then evaluate your options.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    $25mm for 12-14 is terrible. For 13-15 it’s ludicrous.

    His offense will simply not get better. Best case he maintains his barely AL average catcher output. But even that I find doubtful for more than one year.

    His D has a better chance of staying level for a couple years.

    But overall the output is tempered by his health which will almost certainly rear its head in the form of a rather precipitous decline thanks to overuse early in his career. Thanks Joe Torre!

    • Needed Pitching

      AL average at C last year: 238/305/391, 696 OPS
      Martin last year: 237/324/408, 732 OPS

      36 OPS points above average is not barely AL average, Martin is still highly valuable even if his offense doesn’t improve

      Above average C offensively and defensively has real value and isn’t easy to find

  • DM

    I have no problem tabling the extension talk. I like him as much as most but he wore out his welcome in LA for a reason (not just injury). I’d like to see him chase the FA carrot this year. And I’d like to see where the catching prospects are after another year of development.

  • GardnergoesYardner

    I think while Martin doesn’t boast the strongest bat, he can handle the pitching staff very well, and has an outspoken personality, an important trait for a catcher. I would be open to giving him an extension, but I think the Yankees should not overpay, and too do so would be foolish.

    It should be no longer than 2 years at 8 million maximum. The years are more important than the money, as the Yankees can not afford to over commit to another mediocre player. They have depth waiting in the wings, so they are in the driver’s seat in these negotiations. Even if they aren’t entirely comfortable with Romine at catcher or a future with Gary Sanchez, they can make clear to Martin that he is easily replaceable and thus needs to accept their price. If he refuses, there are always other options.

  • Mike HC

    Seems like Cashman played it right. Offer him an extension on a more team friendly deal and if he doesn’t take it, just wait until free agency.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Tabling extension talk is fine. They can always go back on their word later if circumstances change. I’d like to see him remain healthy as well before handing out another three seasons.

  • RetroRob

    This might increase their options if there are multiple catchers on the market, although probably not as it’s unlikely Montero and Molina will both be joining Martin as a free agent. At least one of them will sign.

    With the new CBA, the Yankees need to reassess how they approach longterm contracts and when they are willing to give them. The Yankees approach of never signing an extension until the current contract ends worked for them the past decade. With the new CBA, that approach will work against them.

    Martin will be more expesnive in October than he is now.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      With the new CBA, that approach will work against them.

      How so?

      • RetroRob

        A player’s leverage increases dramatically once he reaches free agency. He has multiple teams bidding on his services. Even if a player wants to return to his former team, he can use free agency to fluff up his contract.

        The Yankees have never been concerned about paying top dollar, more than happy to let a player reach free agency going under the belief they can outbid any team if they want the player back. So they pay more for the flexibilit of waiting as long as possible to sign a new contract. Okay, that’s fine, but it does cause issues at time. Jorge Posada was open to an extension several years back, the Yankees refused, he went to market and then the Yankees found themselves bidding against the NY Mets for Jorge’s services. That cost them more money yearly and they had to add another year to the contract.

        The new CBA provides greater penalties for exceeding the cap, and for the first time greater rewards for coming in under the luxury tax, hence all the focus on the $189M number in 2014. If the Yankees are serious about coming in under the luxury tax, then they may have to chance their approach to contracts, finding situations where they don’t always pay top dollar. That might mean negotiating new contracts and extensions before a player reaches free agency.

  • BK2ATL

    Well, it’s a smart move by Cashman to offer the extension. It’s just as smart a move by Martin to not accept it. He would do better in FA if he remains healthy. People forget that he came into the 2011 season still recovering from hip and knee injuries. The feeling was that he played substantially better when rested. I have a feeling that his offense will be better than 2011. Martin will make more than $8 million AAV if he hits FA.

    Now, just the same, I think both Miguel Montero and Javier Molina will get substantially more if they hit FA after 2012. We would not be their only suitors. Both of their current teams will pay them substantially more than we’re willing to pay Martin. Just saying.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    ANyone else feeling real good about this season? I’m very confident that the Yankees gunna blow the league out of the water

    • Mike HC

      Yes. I get the same feeling that this team is going to impress this year.

    • Manny’s Banwagon

      I’m psyched that every game the Yankees are sending a quality arm to the mound. No more horror show every 5th game in 2012!!

  • Manny’s Banwagon

    Signing Martin isn’t imperative. If they’re serious about getting to $189 for 2014, they might be better off going with Romine next year.