Thursday, November 29, 2012

BREAKING: Pirates sign Russell Martin

Russell Martin has agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The terms of the deal are not yet known but this is a huge blow to the Yankees. The once "catching rich" Yankees now find themselves without a starting catcher. Austin Romine has just come off an injury plagued season with back problems and Gary Sanchez is still too far away from catching in the Major Leagues. The Yankees have Francisco Cervelli who has been their backup for several years and have Chris Stewart who served as Martin's backup in 2012. Martin will re-unite with his old pal AJ Burnett in Pittsburgh. I don't know what Martin thinks the Pirates can do in 2013, but I guess the Pirates offer was significantly better than what the Yankees were offering Martin.

The Yankees now must scramble to either sign a free agent catcher, (i.e. Mike Napoli, AJ Pierzynski) or make a trade to get a catcher. They can not enter the season with Francisco Cervelli as their every day catcher. Mike Napoli is not seen as an everyday catcher. Scouts view him more as a first baseman than anything else. Pierzynski is coming off a fantastic year for the White Sox but his personality may not fit for the Yankees.

Russell Martin hit .211 for the Yankees in 2012 with a career high 21 home runs.

UPDATE*** Russell Martin's contract is reportedly at 2 years, $17 million with the Pirates. The Yankees offer to Martin was rumored to be at 2 years, $12-14 million.

Money was the ultimate factor in this deal considering the Pirates gave Martin exactly what the Yankees offered in terms of years. It must cost a lot to fly back and forth from Canada.

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