Russell Martin signs a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates

It looks like the Yankees are going to need a new catcher this offseason as Russell Martin has agreed to a two-year deal with the Pirates worth $17 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and David Waldstein of the New York Times.

The Yankees were apparently discussing terms with Martin in the two-year, $12-$14 million range, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported. Martin said that he liked New York, but that the Yankees told him they didn’t have the cash to match their offer, according to Waldstein.

Let me write that again so it can sink in, the Yankees didn’t have the cash to match a two-year, $17 million offer.

Now Martin earned $7.5 million this season and the Yankees apparently were willing to offer him only $14 million next year. So they were actually looking for him to take a pay cut. Talk about low balling.

And let’s get this straight, if the Yankees actually told Martin they didn’t have the cash to match the Pirates offer that’s a flat out lie. They absolutely have the cash, they just choose not to spent the money. It’s one thing if they are looking to trim payroll, it’s been bloated for a long time anyway, but if they’re going to start walking around saying they don’t have the cash for this and that they must think we’re stupid.

So the Yankees will now head to the Winter Meetings looking to add a catcher and a right fielder.¬†And if they don’t even have $17 million to spend that means that it’s either A.J. Pierzynski and Ichiro Suzuki or Cashman has got a plan up his ass that he’s going to blow us all away with. Have to say, this is not very encouraging.

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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15 Responses to Russell Martin signs a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Patrick says:

    I know they won 95 games this past season, but the Yanks are going to decline year by year (old roster, no Swisher, etc…). These are not George's Yanks AND people are already bailing (empty sections in YS during playoffs). Not a bright future ahead for the Yanks and I'm a big fan.

    • EP1 says:

      Amen Patrick. With The Boss gone, may he rest in peace, we're about to go in to a 1970s or 80s decline and it isn't pretty.
      No one coming up to replace the core four and they are basically done after this year.

      As a Yankee fan since 1976 this is painful to see.

  2. DSRG716 says:

    Martin hit .211 last year – and that's only after a red hot September. If the Bucs want to give him $8.5 million per year for that type of performance, let them. Even the offensively-challenged Chris Stewart hit a full 30 points better last year; not to mention that Frankie Cervelli is a career .271 hitter who had a .359 OBP over 90 or so games in 2010. Austin Romine was just named to the All-Prospects Team in the Arizona Fall League (despite a very low batting average, so he must be doing something right defensively).

    Yes, the team insulted their fans' intelligence by suggesting that they couldn't afford Martin. However, I can't really say that I'm sad to see a .211 hitter leave. Martin worked well with the pitching staff, but you can find solid defensive catchers who know how to call games for far less than $8.5 million per year.

    • Mark Panuthos says:

      yeah but…. I suspect that Yankee pitching success of late has had a great deal to do with his pitch-calling and framing. I think we're going to miss him more than you think and besides Posey and Mauer, he actually one of the better hitting catchers out there.

      • jersey joe says:

        i think our pitching success had more to do with age and experience than Martin. Girardi put the bull pen together to maximize strengths and the veteren starters carried the load…the young guys stayed the same or regressed for the part. So .211 @ 8.5 a year……really ? no thanks.

  3. Mike says:

    Martin isn't worth 2 years at 17 million. That being said, I'm surprised the Yanks didn't match the offer. I can't believe that Cashman is going to allow this team to go to spring training with an unproven catcher. Something WILL happen at the winter meetings!!! The idea of going a full season with the likes of Romine, Cervelli, Stewart, and Whiteside is a scary thought. Combine the talents of all four and you're still lacking. Hey since we're going "old" all the time in a bunch of positions let's bring back Jorge. He's still better than the "4".

  4. Jim says:

    This was a smart move by Yanks, Martin had some clutch hits and good behind plate but his numbers have declined at a regular rate over the years with no sign of a turn around. If you go and spend tens of millions on 40+ pitchers you need to save and go young in other places- Mixing old pitchers with young catcher can be as wise as old catcher with young pitchers and Romaine or Cervelli, or even Sanchez late in '13 will provide more offense flex than Martin-

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Sanchez is going to turn 20 next month and has no experience above A ball.

      • jersey joe says:

        and y exactly does his age disqualify him? oh yeah this is a Yankee convo we only like thirty something overpaid guys on our roster… somehow other organizations pump out young prospects all the time.

        • His age disqualifies him because aside from Bryce Harper and Mike Trout there aren't many 20 year olds in baseball. On top of that, the Yankees like to move their catchers slowly because of them developing as a prospect means learning how to call a game, deal with pitchers, play defense, and it's not just about hitting.

        • Mike Sommer says:

          Read what I wrote again. It's not his age that disqualifies him, it's his inexperience. The kid, who turns 20 tomorrow (as I write this) has 48 games of experience above LOW A. There's young prospects, but almost NONE make the jump from Low A to the majors.

          • jersey joe says:

            im speaking specifically in general terms when it comes to this team and its willingness to allow their young players to develop at the major league level. while i tend to agree catcher is a developed skill position and Sanchez is not only young but a bit imature you cant argue the fact that this organization does not put out young players the way other succesful franchises do. just venting frustration……………………………………..what exactly are we as fans being told by the moves so far this offseason? to me its we are going to be just as good as last year but not so sure about the years to come.

  5. Jaime says:

    A trade for John Buck could make sense at this time but I doubt the Jays will let him go for middle tier prospect. Probably the starting catcher next season will be called Olivo, Torrealba or Cervelli

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