Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin announced that he has withdrawn from the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Martin, 30, had been campaigning to play shortstop for Team Canada.
“[The Pirates and Team Canada] were uneasy about that,” said Martin about playing short, “and I simply didn’t want to catch. It’s just too much grind. The catcher’s out there the whole game, and it just takes your body so long to recover from catching 20 innings or so … I feel sorry for (Team Canada), but sometimes you just have to look out for what’s best for you. You have to make a personal choice. But I’m really sorry for how all this went down.”
Matin signed a two-year deal worth $17 million with Pittsburgh this past off-season. Martin played with Team Canada in 2009 WBC.
Pirates News: The team signed free-agent pitcher Jose Contreras to a minor-league deal on Saturday with an invitation to spring training.
Contreras , 41, is a veteran of 10 major league seasons playing with the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies.
His best season came in 2005 with the White Sox posting a 15-7 record with a 3.61 ERA in 32 starts.