Yanks, Martin talked about a three-year deal this offseason

Loose, winding thoughts about the A.J. Burnett trade
Open Thread: 2/20 Camp Notes

Via Dan Barbarisi, the Yankees and Russell Martin discussed a three-year contract this offseason before avoiding arbitration with a one-year, $7.5M pact. Talks about a multi-year deal never got passed the preliminary stages though. There is definitely some merit to signing Martin for the next few years (especially after the Jesus Montero trade), though anything longer than three years would really be pushing it just because of catcher aging and his past workload. Something like three years and $25-30M would have been reasonable.

Loose, winding thoughts about the A.J. Burnett trade
Open Thread: 2/20 Camp Notes
  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    Hmm. That’s strange. There’s no way Martin could have balked at a guaranteed 3 years. Must be that the offer was really low?

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Mike, I’ve posed this question here before, but haven’t received an answer.

    Obviously, a 3 year deal will impact the 2014 budget. Since the luxury tax is based on AAV, could the Yankees get creative with contracts to potentially circumvent that?

    Hypothetically, let’s say a 3 year deal at $24 mil gets it done.

    Could the Yankees offer Martin a 2 year deal worth $22 million, with a club option for $2 mil?

    If so, that would save $6 million in 2014.

    Can’t be that easy, can it?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Sure, they could do that, but the player has to agree to it. Most wouldn’t take that huge of a paycut the year before free agency because it will impact their future earnings.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Thanks for the response Mike.

        In this hypothetical example, I don’t know why the player would object; he would be earning $3 mil more for 2 years – time value of money and all that.

        Also, I believe production and age are way more important going into FA than the last year’s salary; it’s free agency, not arbitration.

        Ibanez’s $12+ mil salary in 2011 didn’t affect his 2012 salary at all. Likewise, Prince’s FA deal would have been no different regardless of what he earned last year.

  • AC

    The issue had to be $$ amount. Have s hard time believing Martin wasn’t interested in a 3 yr deal. Maybe the weren’t even close when it came to $$. 3 yrs at 25-28 seems reasonable.

  • JD

    Its gonna get weird with this salary cap , a lot of creative BS to get them to probably the 15% tax level. A player like Martin , oft injured and avg bat would be crazy to turn down 3 guaranteed..
    Obviously if a contract was heavy weighted early on it shouldn’t affect their free agency numbers? Wouldn’t they look at the obvious average and heavy handedness of the prior years of a continuous contract?
    This whole dog and pony show to avoid luxury tax is bullshit…

  • CJ

    Pass. With Yadier Molina, mike Napoli and Miguel montero potentially available. Austin romine could still develop. If not, Martin will still be available, I dont see his value increasing after 2012 season.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      It’ll increase by virtual of the free agent market (unless his performance completely craters). Martin for 3/30 now, or Martin for 4/52 later because five other teams are trying to sign him?

      • CJ

        There is no way there will be teams chasing Martin at 10-13/year multi, driving price up.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          You’re underestimating how useful a guy like Martin would be to half the teams in baseball if he stays healthy.

          • Havok9120

            Badly underestimating methinks.

          • CJ

            First let me say I like russell Martin. That said, more than half the teams have a better and/or younger catcher. And half the teams can’t afford a nice Russell Martin type catcher at 3/30-4/52.

            • Needed Pitching

              there’s more than 15 teams that have a better starting catcher than Marting????

              Go ahead and name those 15+ catchers please.

        • Needed Pitching

          the years are really the issue, if they could have signed him for 3 years this offseason, they get him for his age 29-31 seasons. By waiting, they may need to sign him for his age 30-33 seasons. The first scenario would be much more preferable, especially for a catcher with an injury history.

  • DM

    I think the kids in pipeline factor in as well. Another year of Romine, Murphy, Sanchez development might color their long term thinking. Personally, I don’t see Romine becoming a number 1 — but I could see Cervelli going away in favor of Romine as a quasi-backup catcher who’ll be given a chance to become more than that.

    • Havok9120

      And even if Romine develops to our expectations, which really aren’t that high, I don’t think it’d be a disaster to have him as the starter for a season.

      • DM

        I don’t either. But I can’t imagine most here would accept that. The Yankees have plenty of offense but this Ibanez/Chavez thing has everyone crying like they won’t be enough. If Romine can’t hit people will be screaming for someone better. Yankee fans rarely settle for a defense-first starter — even a catcher.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I think it becomes smarter now to invest in Russell now that Montero is gone. I know people will start throwing the name of the OTHER Montero out as an FA but, just because RAB commenters are convinced the team should pursue a player, it does not mean the team feels the same way.

    However, the numbers mentioned do seem a bit steep for Russell, though, even if another team ends up willing to go that high later.

    I’d roll the dice and see how 2012 plays out, which is what it looks like both parties are doing.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Yeah because this “other Montero” really sucks at this catching thing.

  • fin

    I have no problems with Yankees not signing Russel to a 3 yr deal. After 2 injury plagued sub par performances, he had a bounce back year last year. Lets see him do it again. If he commands 4-52 on the open market, wave goodbye and explore other options. 4-52 seems like a severe over pay for Martin.

  • AC

    I can’t see him getting 4/52 from anyone. All we need I’d to buy 2 more years of him. Get Romine ready from AAA. A def 1st catcher is Cervelli. A lot of brass put Romine’s def right up there right now with Cervelli and after another year at AAA he will hit better than Cervelli. At least we hope.

  • nyyankfan_7

    How come more isn’t said about him having 3 middle names?

    Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin per baseball-reference.com

    I gotta agree, 4/52 seems extreme for a guy who just had a “bounceback year” batting .237, 2 months of which was .200 and below. I like him but I don’t like him that much.

  • Mike

    I would wait until the offseason – there is probably going to be a large free agent class for catchers. The top five, including Martin:
    Russell Martin
    Chris Iannetta
    Yadier Molina
    Miguel Montero
    Mike Napoli

    I would take all four over Martin at this point. Things could change over the season, players could sign extensions, get hurt, etc., but if 3-4 reach FA at the same time, we could pick someone up who is much better.