Forget what you’ve heard. Three years was yesterday. Free agent catcher Russell Martin is now apparently looking for a four-year deal worth $9-10 million annually, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
Marchand doubts the Yankees would bite on a deal of that size and I tend to agree although I wouldn’t be surprised. Really, as long as they are offering him a multi-year deal anyway his salary is already going to count against the 2014 luxury tax. What’s the difference between three or four years at that point?
Well there is a difference, but it doesn’t have to do with payroll. It has to do with a catcher who is about to turn 30, has already dealt with a list of injuries in his career, and the Yankees have Gary Sanchez coming up the pipeline with crazy amounts of talent. For those reasons four years may be too much.
If three years and $30 million is where the Yankees draw the line they may lose him unless they get a friendly discount. The Rangers, Mariners, Pirates, and Red Sox are all said to be interested and this is an extremely thin catchers market. Mike Napoli, who can’t catch more than 80 games, and A.J. Pierzynski, who is 36, are the next best options.
Still, Martin seemed to like playing for the here a lot and earlier this offseason the rumor was that he wanted to return so much that he was willing to wait for an offer from the Yankees, who are taking care of their pitching staff before worrying about the potential catcher and right field vacancies.