Pending Physical Russell Martin Will Play in Pittsburgh
Martin chooses Pittsburgh over the Yankees
Pending a physical the Pittsburgh Pirates and Russell Martin have agreed to a two-year $17 million contract. Martin has spent the past two years with the New York Yankees, hitting .224/.317/.405 with 39 homers.
The Yankees reached a one-year deal earlier in the day with all world closer Mariano Rivera for $10 million, and the Yankees wanted Martin to return but apparently not at that asking price.
The Yankees are committed to reducing their salary below the $189 million ceiling.
Last year Pittsburgh catchers in a combined 217/.299/.385, and Martin has a career slash line of 260/.352/.399. Martin is regarded as a skilled handler of pitchers. Martin represents a significant upgrade over Rod Barajas.
However, Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has a point, ”Martin might have a career 30% caught stealing rate, but if the Pirates maintain the same philosophy — having the pitchers focus entirely on the hitter, rather than splitting their attention and holding the runner on — Martin will struggle”.
The deal represents the most expensive of Neal Huntington’s tenure as Pittsbugh’s general manager, and he is sure to come under scrutiny. $17 million is a lot of money in the Pittsburgh Pirates economy.