Heyman: Talks “heating up” between Yankees and Russell Martin


Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees are “back in discussions” with free agent catcher Russell Martin, and talks are said to be “heating up.” The two sides were far apart on dollars a few days ago, but Heyman says they made progress over the weekend.

Martin, 29, is apparently waiting to hear New York’s pitch before getting involved with other teams according to George King, which Ichiro Suzuki is doing as well. Agent Matt Colleran confirmed to Dan Martin that his client has received multiple offers though, including one from the Yankees. As one of the few legitimate starting backstops on the free agent market, Martin figures to draw plenty of interest from other catching-starved clubs like the Rangers, White Sox, and maybe even the Rays. Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, he might play shortstop for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    I would be fine if Martin gets anything 3/27 or less.

    Team will need a starting catcher in 2013 and 2014 and I like Martin.

  • Giancarlo Stanton 2017

    I’d rather have him than ridiculously overpay for the non catcher Napoli or the jerk 36 year old A.J.

  • Jersey Joe

    I’m fine with this, but if we sign Russell, I’m not signing Ichiro for over $5-$5.7 million. In that case I’d trade for Heisey, platoon him and Dickerson, then see what happens.

  • Jersey Joe

    I’m fine with this, but if we sign Russell, I’m not signing Ichiro for over $5-$5.7 million. In that case (that Ichi demands more) I’d trade for Heisey, platoon him and Dickerson, then see what happens.

    • MB923

      What does 1 have to do with the other? Why would you not want them to sign Ichiro just because Martin could be re-signed? Ichiro would only be a 1 year deal anyway.

    • Laz

      Could care less what ichiro gets. It will only be a 1 year deal and won’t affect 2014 payroll plans.

  • Rey22

    My first reaction was to go “that’s crazy, what if he gets hurt!?” And then I read the article and the last sentence makes plenty of sense. It is less dangerous than catching…

    • Jersey Joe

      Good for him. Read that NYT article. I think out of the Yankees recent FA signings, Russell has been interesting, more so than Soriano, Kuroda, Jones, Stewart, Chavez, maybe not Ibanez, but I’ve seen lots of him in NYT.

      • Jersey Joe

        I guess by interesting I mean he is in the paper a lot and I’ve read a lot about him.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Maybe he’ll do well in teh WBC and can be Jeter’s backup as well as the Yankees primary C. That’s a way he can increase his value and show that he’s really worth $8-9MM.

      • G

        Now we’re talking crazy. Maybe if he proves he can play SS, Martin becomes the freak emergency shortstop. By that I mean Jeter, Nuñez, and whatever backup infielder we bring in all go down in the course of 9 innings.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Only got one person to bite. Guess everyone else understood this was written in jest, or just ignored it all together. :-)

  • RetroRob

    Ha. Not to Martin talking to multiple teams, but the idea that he’d play SS for Canada in the WBC. I can just see it now. The Yankees, or some other team, sign him to be a catcher for $25M-30M and then he goes out and plays SS. Zero chance. Less than zero chance!

  • dalelama

    How sad is it we have to overpay for a .211 hitter just to maintain the status quo of mediocrity?

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      What do you suggest they do at catcher?

    • The Moral Majority is Neither

      I think that between his power, pitch-framing, experience with pitching staff and relative young age at a position of scarcity a 3 year deal at $8-9M per isn’t a ridiculous overpay.

      And by status quo of mediocrity do you mean the team overall? They won the most games in the AL and had a very nice pitching staff by the end of the season. (Martin likely had some role in that.)

    • jjyank

      Cherry picking stats is fun. His 2012 wRC+ of 95 really isn’t bad for a catcher.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

        I don’t know about this wRC+ voodoo you’re speaking about but he hit .211 and only had 53 RBIs.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          and 21 HR’s….and a .714 OPS
          Low average, good power, draws walks. Overall about average (maybe slightly below average) offensively for a primary catcher.

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula


            I think they should bring him back. Good defense and just about a league average hitter is OK for a catcher.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Oops. Sorry. Hard to tell around these parts nowadays.

              • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                Unfortunately that’s true.

                Lately its been too much attack/fend off attack around here.

                • 1975 Thinking Checking In

                  Okay, I’ll return now to the time of disco. I see I am no longer welcomed.

        • 1975 Thinking Checking In


    • Kevin G.

      So you say we pay less for a worse catcher to get worse?

      • Kevin G.

        Wait, that made no sense.

        • RetroRob

          Actually, it made great sense.

          Err, or at least if you were trying to say what I think you were trying to say, which is it doesn’t make sense to pay less money for a lesser catcher than Martin and in the process of saving a few dollars the Yankees are a worse team.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Wait, nothing about ARod?

    • DC

      Lamaland doesn’t like this? Sign me up then.

    • G

      I don’t know why I even bother, but… Define mediocre. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      Mediocre means average. Middle of the road. That would imply a team that is around the 14th-16th best in the league. A team that has finished 1st, top 4, top 8, and top 4 in each of the last 4 years is quite a ways away from mediocre. Only one year could you even say they were half way there.

    • vicki

      hey, dalelama (sic), that’s some damn fine trollin’. cap tip, my friend.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Could the Yankees (or whatever team that signs him) not allow him to play SS in the WBC for risk of injury, etc?

    • RetroRob

      Teams tell their players all the time not to participate in the WBC. I’m sure if the Yankees plan to sign Martin, there will be a discussion about him not playing SS in the WBC.

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t know what they’ll do, but the risk of getting hurt has got to be a lot higher at C than SS.

      • Preston

        People usually get hurt doing things that are physically unfamiliar. While catcher is the more injurious position, ranging for grounders and diving for line drives is not something Martin’s body has done in a while, an awkward dive or stumble could mean a broken wrist. Although he did play some 3B for the Dodgers. I think it’s pretty harmless whatever position he plays.

  • Blake

    If they give Martin 8 or 9 million in AAV then it’s going to make an already very tight payroll situation for 2014 even tighter….

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m sure that the Yankees didn’t just today start thinking about Martin’s impact on the budget.

      Despite popular belief, they’ve got a whole lot of money to play with.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        And some really smart people deciding how it gets spent.

  • pisttol pete

    Hard to believe how bad the catching market is when teams are bidding 8 to 9 million a year for a guy that hit under 200 for two thirds of the year, unbelievable. And the worst part is that there isn’t anything out there that’s much better. Napoli can hit a little better but had an off year last year and is a lousy catcher and Pierzynski is 36 and a bad clubhouse guy and the Yankee lineup is already left handed loaded. It’ll be Martin probably 2 for 17m or so.

    • Preston

      It’s almost like offensive numbers are on the decline league wide and we should adjust how we think about players accordingly.

  • Robert

    Martin and Ichiro are waiting for the Yankee offer, Because there are no other offers from anyone else!!!!

    Believe me there loyalties are where they can get the most money!!!

    Kuroda should have signed the 13.3 tender but no his agent said the Angels and Dodgers were interested and he might just go back to Japan and his kids go to school in LA. So the Yanks get held up for another 1.7 million.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Oh no! The richest team in baseball is asked to pay full market value. Teh horrors!

      • Rich in NJ

        His Kuroda comment aside, the point made in your post is illusory because they are apparently cutting payroll after 2013, so being the richest team means a lot less if you aren’t spending like one, and any contract offered that extends beyond 2013 should reflect that (which is why his Kuroda comment makes no sense).

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Kuroda is who I was primarily referring to, but the point stands for everyone. I’m speaking to the actions of the players, not the actions of the Yankees.
          Even if the $189 plan actually happens, it’s still not a reason for players not to ask for full market value. It’s up to the Yankees to decide whether or not to pay it. Players aren’t going to take substantially less just to make the Steinbrenner family richer (nor should they).

          • Rich in NJ

            I agree with that. It is up to the Yankees to convince players that they will no longer pay top of the market prices.

    • Ted Nelson

      Martin apparently has at least two other offers. There was reported interest in Ichiro earlier this season as well. Those rumors aren’t definitive, but their sources have way more info than I imagine you do. Try to keep up with the rumors instead of making ignorant statements.

  • Rich in NJ

    It’s really time for fresh eyes to run this team.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Because they want to sign somebody who is no worse than the second best catcher on the market?

      • mustang

        No. Because he is stopping the development of all the top 10 prospects in AAA.

      • Rich in NJ

        Because it is a diumb use of increasingly scarce resources as of 2014.

        • Get Phelps Up

          How is spending what would likely only be $8M or so on a good catcher be a dumb use of resources?

          • Rich in NJ

            In 2013, it’s fine. In 2014, with about $100m likely allocated to CC, Tex, A-Rod , and (it is reasonable to believe) Cano, that leaves what would effectively be about $78m for the rest of the roster, and that doesn’t include Jeter, who will be expensive if his 2013 season is similar to his 2012 season.

            I would rather make sure they can pay Robertson and Hughes than an extremely inconsistent hitter like Martin.

            Hard choices have to be made.

            • Rick in Philly

              Robertson becomes a free agent after the 2014 season (per Cot’s).

  • Steve S

    Hi guys, I wrote an editorial on the catching situation, if anyone is interested. I’d love your input too. http://semifrequenteditorialis.....ld-be.html

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I’d much prefer a Shoppach/Kottaras combo for 1 year than giving Martin 3 years.
      I’d be absolutely shocked if Kottaras was non-tendered though, and I’m not sure why Oakland would be in a hurry to trade him, unless they were getting something solid in return, even if he’s just going to be their backup.

  • Joe

    Think they should have offered him the 13.3 mil for another year? Think he would have accepted it?
    I’d take the pick but would rather have him for a year to see how Romine does and if Murphy positions himself for 2014

  • forensic

    Very underwhelmed by Martin, but sadly that’s the state of the catcher market right now. It is pretty pitiful though that it sounds as though he’ll get a larger contract than he was offered last offseason after having a worse year.

    So much of his offensive contribution was tied to seemingly ‘Yankee Stadium Special’s’ that any less of those and he’s a complete zero on your roster. Even with those, he just barely broke .400 in SLG for the second year in a row. Just have to hope that he has some semblance of rebound in his other numnbers though.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I like how 2 of his HR’s are classified as being hit far enough to be out in 0 ballparks. Not sure how that’s possible, unless he hit 2 inside the parkers that I don’t remember.

      • forensic

        Yeah, and on top of that there are 5 one ballparks and one more 2 ballpark homers also in there. It could get very ugly if he doesn’t get those and his other peripherals don’t improve.

    • Ted Nelson

      I would actually not be at all surprised if he gets more than the Yankees offered for several reasons:

      A. It was an offer. It’s in the Yankees best interest to make a low offer.

      B. He’s a free agent. Both historically and logically, free agents tend to get more money than extensions.

      C. He wasn’t that much less productive offensively than last season. 5% in terms of wRC+. When you consider how much of his value is tied up in his defense, a 5% swing in offensive production might just be noise: insignificant.

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

    As promised I will lick my own balls if he gets more than 3/24. And 3/24 is criminal.

  • Eli Lozoya

    How is 3/24 criminal? He deserves what he gets, man.