Rumor: Yankees have not yet made Russell Martin an offer

After the Yankees re-sign Andy Pettitte, if he doesn’t retire, and Mariano Rivera one of the top things on their list will be to sign a catcher. They would like to have Russell Martin back, but they have not yet made him an offer, according to George King of the NY Post.

Martin earned $7.5 million last season and turned down a three-year, $20 million extension a year ago. The Yankees did not make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million which should indicate that they won’t go that high to re-sign him. King suggests that he will get a three year deal worth $8-$10 million from somebody this offseason.

The Yankees have been resistant to offering multi-year deals this offseason, and even missed out on Torii Hunter because of it, but it does seem that they would be willing to make an exception for Martin. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has suggested that just because they want him back doesn’t guarantee that they will get him back. It sounds like they’ll make him a competitive offer, but will draw the line that they will not cross if there is a bidding war.

Martin had a rough year offensively last season, hitting below .200 into September and eventually finishing with a .211/.311/.403 line, but the Yankees don’t have many other choices. Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are not capable enough to be starters and Austin Romine is probably not ready to handle full time major league catching duties (the Yankees probably wouldn’t want to hand the reigns to a rookie even if he was). The rest of the catching market is extremely thin with A.J. Pierzynski possibly being the next best alternative.

If the Yankees don’t manage to re-sign Martin, I honestly don’t know what to expect. They will probably consider Pierzynski only if he’s willing to sign a one-year deal. They could turn toward Mike Napoli with the idea that he’ll split time with Romine, but that seems highly unlikely since the Yankees like better defensive catchers (although they did have Jorge Posada back there for years).

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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10 Responses to Rumor: Yankees have not yet made Russell Martin an offer

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Here are his BA's and OBP's for the last 5 years:
    .280 / .385
    .250 / .352
    .248 / .347
    .237 / .324
    .211 / .311
    a couple of years ago this player was a very good hitter, but the trend is unmistakeable. I would suggest that 2011's numbers were tolerable given his defense, but that 2012's numbers were unacceptable. There is no way this trend warrants a 3 year deal for a 30 year old catcher. Cervelli is an acceptable part-timer though there are concussion concerns, but Whiteside and Stewart are not MLB-caliber hitters. So the club has three options, overpay for Martin, look outside the organization, or cobble together a platoon of Cervelli/Romine/Stewart/Whiteside.

  2. Mike says:

    Where have all the catchers gone? For an organization like the NY Yankees not to have capable fill-ins in their farm system is short-sighted at best. I think it's time to draft or trade for some minor league prospects. Then once we get them hang onto them. Remember Jesus Montero?

    • There really aren't a lot of systems that are producing catchers. Look around the league and it's a pretty weak position these days. And Jesus Montero is not exactly a catcher either. The Mariners were desperate for catching help for most of last season and Montero caught all of 56 games. That's not exactly an endorsement.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        Plus he "hit" .260 with an .298 OBP, 15 HRs in 515 ABs. Didn't exactly set the world on fire with his bat. He might still turn out to be a good hitter, but where are all the posters who were treating this guy like a sure 30 HR, 100 RBI bat? This trade might actually redeem the Granderson stinker Cashman made.

  3. ollie says:

    They have to sign Martin. CC and Kuroda both like pitching to him and even though his offense has dropped he did have some big hits for them last year. Re-sign him and platoon with Romine (Posada and Girardi) in 2 or 3 years Romine is the starter and bring up Sanchez. Being a GM is easy!

  4. Keena says:

    Yes, when will Gary Sanchez be MLB ready? I know we prefer guys closer to 40, but catcher is a young man's position. We need Gary soon!

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