Update: Yanks, Martin have renewed talks about three-year deal

Tim Norton Update: Throwing bullpens and feeling fine
Mailbag: Ibanez, Montero, Closer, Martin

10:23pm ET: Via Jon Heyman, talks haven’t gotten off the ground, but the two sides will revisit a possible extension during the season. The team is willing to do three years and $20M, but that would be a pay cut for Martin based on this year’s salary. That’s just a first offer though, I’m sure they’re open to negotiating.

5:30pm ET: Via Andrew Marchand, the Yankees and Russell Martin have rekindled talks about a three-year contract. The two sides reportedly discussed a three-year deal earlier this offseason, though Brian Cashman told Jack Curry that Martin’s side probably didn’t like the proposed financial parameters.”We would be flexible in their budget constraints,” said Matt Colleran (Martin’s agent) with regards to the 2014 austerity budget. Colleran and Cashman spoke yesterday about a new contract and will do so again in the near future according to Marchand.

As Moshe wrote earlier this offseason, there is definitely some merit to keeping Martin around over the next few years, particularly in the wake of the Jesus Montero trade. A new deal would replace this year’s contract, meaning it would cover 2012-2014. Something along the lines of three years and $25-30M seams reasonable to me without really digging too deep into it.

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Tim Norton Update: Throwing bullpens and feeling fine
Mailbag: Ibanez, Montero, Closer, Martin
  • BK2ATL

    I like what Martin brings to the team behind the plate, certainty. Now with Pineda, Nova, and Kuroda, that is certainly needed for the future. Though Kuroda might not be here past 2012.

    With Banuelos and Betances on the wings, Joba coming back up, along with Pineda and Nova, you cannot emphasize enough the importance of our young pitchers having a real top notch C behind the plate. If his offense improves, even better. If it doesn’t, great. Martin’s presence behind the plate alone should instill confidence to the Yanks’ staff.

    Count me in on Martin. He can bridge us at least until Sanchez is ready.

    • RetroRob

      It will also give the Yankees the chance to assess Romine, first giving him a full season in AAA, and then having him apprentice under Martin in 2013. If he performs well, he could take over as the full-time catcher in 2014, at which point the Yankees could trade Martin in the last year of his contract if they’re still seeking salary relief.

      Of course, the real hope is Sanchez takes over eventually. I feel like we’ve begun the Montero watch again!

  • jsbrendog

    i like this as long as he doesn’t get urn into the ground. or run. i’ve heard it both ways

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    With his MMA skills, and the fact that he tweets in French, and the fact the one of his middle names is Coltrane, Russell Martin is my new favorite Yankee.

    Get it done, Cash.

  • BK2ATL

    I think this might also signal that they don’t think Romine would be better than a backup or trade piece at this point as well.

    • Nick

      at least not in the next few years

    • fin

      I dont think it really says much except they dont think Romine is ready yet. This contract would only cover through 2014. I dont think any of us expected Romaine to make the Yankees this year. So, it may very well be, he comes up in 2013 as the back up and transitions into a bigger role in 14 setting himself up to take over in 15. Romaine is no sure bet to be a starting catcher in MLB, this certainly gives the yankees time to find out, without blocking him if he does develop into a starting catcher. It also gives the Yankees time to see what type of player Sanchez will be.

      • Monterowasdinero

        Lettuce not discuss Romaine.

        May I Romine you?

        • Genghis

          If catching doesn’t work out for him, he could become an umpire. Think on that, pun-boy.

          • Monterowasdinero

            You trying to Kahn me?

            • Genghis

              KIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRKKKKKK!

    • STONE COLD Austin Romine

      Most likely so.

      I’d rather have Martin as the *possible bridge to Murphy/Sanchez/Tejada anyway.

      It’s not that I don’t believe in Romine I just think that he won’t live up to expectations that most folks/prospect huggers had for him a few seasons ago.

      • fin

        I have to be honest, with Sanchez’s bat, I wouldnt be disappointed if they moved him to a corner out field spot and fast tracked him to MLB. From what I’ve read he has the athletisism to play the outfield.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          With Sanchez’s bat I’d be ecstatic if they give him more than a month on the team.

    • Havok9120

      I’m sure people said the same thing about Jorge after Girardi was brought in in the 90s.

      I’m not all that high on Romine, and I certainly am not saying he’s Jorge 2.0, I’m just pointing out that, unlike most other positions, guys don’t just show up and get the starting job. They get broken in behind a reliable starter, sometimes for years, until they are deemed ready to take the reins full time.

      • fin

        LOL back in Jorge’s day a guy just magically showed up on the major league roster, fans didnt know who prospects were for the most part to even know what was going on.

        • Havok9120

          True for the average fan I suppose. But looking at it objectively and without hindsight, the situation isn’t enormously different.

      • lo-ki

        Aaron Rodgers, anyone?

  • Rich in NJ

    Please don’t.

    • Havok9120

      Why?

      • Slugger27

        id rather them give it one more year to see how he does and then reassess next offseason. after another year they should have a better understanding of both romine and martin. whats the downside? paying him a few extra mill per year if he does really well?

        also, miguel montero and yadier are free agents, and could be in the mix as well.

        if martin does well and romine doesnt do anything to get anyone excited, im all for the 3 year extension, i just dont see the point in doing it before you have to. (players of cano’s caliber obviously are exceptions)

        • thenamestsam

          One possible counterargument is that catcher defense is one of the areas where analytical ground is being broken most quickly at this point. If the Yankees think Martin’s defense is extremely undervalued by the market (which it very well might be based on how good his framing and blocking numbers were from last year) based on some internal research they have or their understanding of public studies then they might be able to get him for an extreme discount now that just won’t be there a year from now if more research enters the public sphere or other teams internal research teams get to the level of the Yankees’.

          Obviously that is all speculation, but it does seem like a possible reason.

        • Havok9120

          Well, frankly, I’m not certain I’d want him for a total of another 4 years. And that extra few million could be important given the number of players we have entering FA and the desire for 189.

          • RetroRob

            Three years. They would rip up the current deal he just signed with the new three-year deal.

            • Havok9120

              Yes, but Slugger is talking about a 3 year deal AFTER this season. 4 years.

              • whozat

                but that’s not what the _team_ is talking about, so who care?

                • Havok9120

                  If that’s your outlook, why are you posting in the comments section?

      • Rich in NJ

        Martin has had health issue throughout his career, and his offensive production has been inconsistent. The other Montero may be a FA after the season. I would like the Yankees to wait him out.

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

    Mike I agree that a 3 year deal for Martin is a good idea, but I think $25-30mm is absolute unadulterated crazy talk. I think he’s barely worth what he currently makes, and IMO is much more likely to regress in 2013/14 than improve from here. Best case is he more or less stays steady state. Add in a likely trip to the DL along the way and….I just wouldn’t do it for $25mm.

    • Slugger27

      hes played 6 seasons and his worst is 2.1 fWAR. he put up league average offensive numbers (despite a 252 babip) last year at the toughest position on the field, and the consensus is hes a good defender. i think $8-10M per year is more than fair, if not a bargain.

      • G

        An OPS+ of 92 is by definition not league average. $8M is fair, but $10M is overpaying.

        • RetroRob

          OPS+ is an average for all positions. Catchers are a different animal than first basemen, so an OPS+ for a 1B’man is a disaster, not so for a catcher, especially one who is noted for defense.

        • Steve (different one)

          2011 AL: .253/.323/.408
          2011 AL catchers: .238/.305/.391
          2011 RM: .237/.324/.408

        • Genghis

          Missing from this discussion is the fact that OPS+ is ball-park adjusted. Martin was almost exactly league-average (over all positions) without the ballpark adjustment.

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

        I think the pins have already been rightly pulled out of this comment by others. But I will add one more piece – you’re not factoring in his (extremely) likely decline, nor the pounding his body has already taken (thanks Joe Torre!!)

        There’s a reason the Yanks started the conversation at $20mm. And it ain’t to land at $25mm.

  • fin

    Getting him on basically a 2 year extion for ~20 million sounds like an ideal situation for the Yankees. Minimal risk/committment, gives time for them to asses minor leaguers. Martin is a good catcher and I am a fan of short term deals especially for a catcher.

  • AC

    Cash knows he needs to buy a few years as Romine continues to grow at AAA. Romine isn’t ready to take over as the No. 1 catcher we all know that. 3 yrs between $25-30 is pretty much his range. He’s great with pitching staff, and he’s in excellent shape this spring as well. I say lock him up on a 3 yr deal and make Romine the backup in 13′ and gear him to take the reins just like Girardi to Posada.

  • Rainbow connection

    Obviously Selig is telling Martin to hold out for more money. This will hurt the Yankees and help the Brewers.

    #idiotmemeoftheday

  • GardnergoesYardner

    Would they honestly revisit it during the season? That’s against the policy that they’ve held to even for their franchise players. And to break it for someone like Martin, where it’s not even worth talking about during the season?

    Seems like another case of Heyman misreporting.

  • http://twitter.com/tjamato TJ

    I think you add a million to his salary this year and multiply by 3.

    7.5+1(3)=25.5MM=8.5 AAV

    Seems fair to me.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      That’s 30MM, not 25.5MM. PEMDAS!

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Romine shouldn’t even be a factor here. Never bought the hype. He projects to have an average bat and his defense was never great to begin with. Best case scenario for him is Martin’s bat with half of his glove.

    But I do like the Yadier or Montero plans.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    So Martin is signed this year for $7.5M, and the Yankees are offering a 3 year deal for less money? I think Hey Man hit a wrong number on his tweet.

    • Ed

      I can believe it. They tried the same thing with Pettitte after ’03. That’s a big part of why he left.

      Also, don’t forget that contracts tend to be a tradeoff between length and AAV.

      • Steve (different one)

        The yanks offered Pettitte significantly more than he took from Houston.

        Also, since Martin’s 2012 salary is being driven by the arbitration process, it is entirely reasonable that his market value is slightly less than his current salary. This happens all the time, it’s why players get non-tendered.

        Also, it’s just a first offer.

  • DM

    ”We would be flexible in their budget constraints,”

    I think this will apply to all signings going forward. The $189M is more doable than most think if players work with them to keep their 2014 salary down — as long as they make it worth their while in some other creative contractual way. Also, it would nice if they could acquire a genuine OF prospect (better than a Zolio Almonte, and with pop) that’s close or just cracked the big leagues.

    • DM

      Also it might be possible (I don’t know all the limitations — or if there’s new language in the CBA) that A-Rod, Tex and CC could restructure their deals in some way to help.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Like in football? Doubtful but who knows.

        • DM

          I think Todd Helton did.

          • fin

            I dont think the Rockies were ever up against the Tax, there has definately been players who reworked their deals to allow a team to sign another player.

      • fin

        Maybe they could at 20 more years onto a-rods contract bringing the aav down, and pay till 2031 like the mets are paying bonilla.

        • DM

          I could see A-Rod (esp since the steroid thing devalued the marketing value of his milestones) re-working his deal. And I think CC’s contract might’ve been structured differently had the Yankees known the implications at the time.

          • fin

            Im just guessing, but I think there are probably rules in place regarding restructing deals to avoid the luxury tax. It seems MLB wants that money. IT would be ineresting to see what MLB did if the Yankees got below the tax and stayed there.

            • DM

              Obviously this a Yankee tax (which is absurd when you think how much they do for other teams’ home attendance) but I don’t see how restructuring could be contested. How would they distinguish the real reason for the restructuring? Look at what happened with the receivers of the Yankee money over the years. There was no realistic way to make sure they spent that money on players. Who’s to say? And let’s face it, the players union would support what I’m saying. They don’t wanna make the Yankees clutch their wallets on moves. Guys like CC, Tex, A-Rod could just say they wanted to re-do their deals. Let the league office contest it if they want.

  • pistol pete

    Get him signed. Romaine won’t be ready in three years or ever and Martin is a solid catcher, runs well, handles the pitching staff well and hits ok. He has had a penchant for some big hit too. After looking at some of the guarantted money for guys like Arod and Jeter he looks like a steal. I wonder if the yanks will give A jones a chance to DH both left and right. He may be a better option if Ibanez craps out like i’m sure he will. His second half ops was over 900 and it seems like he’s in great shape this year with some weight loss and knee surgery. Plus with the additional work K Long has done with Jones 300 to 400 at bats doesn’t look unreasonable.

  • mustang

    3 for 24

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

      MAX. I think 21-22 is more likely and, most importantly, a much closer approximation of his actual value going forward. Remember, his body has been crushed by Torre already, and he was barely AL-catcher average last year, and he’s not getting any younger. He may be a plus defender but come on guys. There’s a reason theYanks offered $20mm and it ain’t to land at $25-30mm.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Even though Martin had the biggest non-clutch at bat of the season last year, I would still lock him up for 3 years if possible. He has instantly become more durable/healthy and rested with AJ gone. Seems like our whole pitching staff has excellent control currently.

    As for Romine-his bat is weak, and his fielding is as overrated as J. Montero’s was underrated.

    Labels my friends-they can be used as trade chips. You can hide Montero as a DH but you can’t hide Romine as a catcher. We’ll see if we have Johnny Bench back there or not very soon.