Once upon a time, Russell Martin was the catcher for the New York Yankees until one off-season, he simply wasn’t re-signed. The Yankees had a unique catching situation until they signed Brian McCann last season to a five-year, $85 Million deal. They fixed their catching position and all ended well, right? Well, Russell Martin believes the catching situation for the Yankees could have been avoided.
“It becomes an expensive mistake, no question,” Martin told The Post before the Pirates-Yankees game at McKechnie Field was canceled by rain on Monday. “They can’t turn back the clock. They went and got a good guy who, offensively, puts up better numbers than I have and so costs a lot of money. I love McCann. They got a good one.”
While Martin doesn’t dwell on his time with the Yankees, he still wonders what could have been if the Yankees had kept him.
“Personally, I thought it was a mistake,” Martin said. “There are no hard feelings. I definitely didn’t feel like it was in the general manager’s hands at that point. I always believed [Brian] Cashman and [assistant GM Billy] Eppler and the coaching staff did want me back. I had some presence and a good impact on the team. But the money doesn’t come from them and I felt at the time, they had different priorities and I wasn’t at the top of the list.”
Martin admits the Yankees did fix some of their positions, yet still believed the Yankees paid the price for not having a catcher last season.
“I think the smart move is not to repeat a mistake,” Martin said. “I think they paid the price for not acquiring an everyday catcher — or keeping one — and they went and got a good one this year.”
Very subtle, Mousier Martin. Very subtle indeed.