The Yankees and Russell Martin briefly discussed a contract extension for the catcher who is set to be a free agent a year from now, but both times talks ended rather quickly.
Since the last time the two sides talked, St. Louis wrapped up a five-year extension worth $75 million with their catcher Yadier Molina. At $15 million average annual value it is one of the richest contracts ever given to a catcher and it sets the market for catchers next offseason, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Martin.
“He kind of set the bar,” Martin told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, noting that the deal recognized Molina’s defensive contributions.
The Yankees had offered Martin a three-year extension worth $20 million over three years according to rumors, but talks stalled rather quickly as that actually represents a pay-cut of sorts from the $7.5 million he is set to earn this year.
At the time something more along the lines of a $24 to $30 million seemed much more likely, but now he could potentially be in the $39 to $42 million range. It’s hard to say right now, but it’s certainly a possibility.
The Yankees are going to have to make a hard decision on this because they are trying to trim payroll to $189 million by 2014 and they have a much cheaper option in Austin Romine. Romine is likely to start this season in Triple-A and will probably be in the majors full-time starting in 2013. Nick Swisher is also set to become a free agent next offseason and they may be in an one or the other position.