The Yankees like Russell Martin and want to have him back this season. Yes, he was absolutely putrid offensively for most of the season, but if you haven’t noticed already the free agent market for catchers is very thin which makes Martin look like not such a bad option.
Unfortunately, as Brian Cashman warns, just because the Yankees like Martin doesn’t guarantee they’ll be able to re-sign him.
The Yankees tried to offer him a multi-year deal last season at three years and $20 million, but he turned them down. It might have seemed silly in hindsight, but there are a few teams, like the Red Sox and Rangers, who will also be looking for catching help and could join the bidding with the Yankees. Meanwhile, the Yankees will offer him a multi-year offer, but as they try to lower their payroll to $189 million by 2014 they will be limited to how much they can offer.
This could easily be their toughest, most drawn out negotiations the Yankees have before the Winter Meetings in December.