Yankees Backed off Russell Martin Deal Because of Money/Injury Concerns

Via Roger Rubin and Bill Madden of the NY Daily News:

Shortly before Thursday’s deadline, the Dodgers approached the Yankees with a trade proposal, according to a club source. The former All-Star [Russell Martin], who made $5.05 million in 2010 and could have earned a raise through arbitration, would have been exchanged for Francisco Cervelli, who was in line to back up rookie candidate Jesus Montero. According to The New York Times, the teams even exchanged medical information about the players.

The source said the Yankees backed off last week because of concerns about his cost and his health. One concern was that Martin would earn the raise and that the Dodgers weren’t willing to include cash to cover it. The other was the fractured hip that limited him to 97 games.

At this point the Yankees are still interested in signing the free agent Martin, but it sounds like a longshot. There are as many as five other teams interested in him including the Dodgers and the Red Sox.

Martin would also serve as the backup to Montero on the Yankees which leads to the possibility that he’ll hold out for a starting gig. Despite his struggles over the past couple of years Martin is still relatively young with strong offensive and defensive potential. He’s going to get some decent offers. Being a backup for the Yankees won’t help his value much for the future.

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