Trade Rumors: Yankees Nearly Acquired Russell Martin for Cervelli

Via Michael S. Schmidt of the NY Times:

Yanks and Dodgers came close on a deal that would have sent Russell Martin to the Yanks for Francisco Cervelli. But deal fell apart and dodgers ended up non-tendering Martin. Talks between Dodgers and Yanks were hottest on Wednesday, with teams exchanging medical records.

Cervelli wasn’t a terrible offensive catcher and actually had a better year than Martin offensively in 2010, but this would be a big upgrade for 2011. Offensively both could be about the same next year, but if one is going to have a good offensive season, the good money is on Martin.

The biggest difference though is the defense. Cervelli was awful behind the plate last year. He barely threw out any runners and was second in baseball with 13 catching errors. In contrast, Martin is one of the better catchers defensively in the game. He had his own fair share of errors, but he threw out runners at a strong clip and he took home a Gold Glove in 2007.

This trade may have hit a snag though because of Martin’s hip. He was limited to just 97 games last year after he needed surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported that his agent said that he’s fully recovered, but teams are nervous anyway.

That may be why the deal fell apart. Deals fall apart for lots of reasons though. It may not have been a straight up one-for-one deal. We’ll see soon though because if the Yankees were willing to give up something for him, then they’ll try to sign him now that he’s a free agent. If they don’t, it will be because they’re worried about that hip.

If his hip is sturdy then the Yankees should definitely go after him as an upgrade over Cervelli. His offense will be at least as good with much more power potential and besides that it would be good to have a strong defensive catcher around.

We’ll be following Martin until he’s signed though after this news. Remember, there are many ways to subscribe so you don’t miss any news or rumors.

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