Monday, December 6, 2010

Yankees One of Several Teams Interested in Martin

As per Jon Heyman:
#yankees, #redsox, #jays, #mets thought interested in russell martin. lobby talk: he's still catcher, not multi-purpose guy.
This isn't terribly new news, as it was reported last week that the Yankees nearly dealt Francisco Cervelli to the Dodgers for Russell Martin. I have yet to find anything in regards to why the trade fell through, but the teams went so far as to exchange medical reports - it stands to reason that there may have been a hang-up there. Perhaps the Yankees even felt that they could save some money by signing Martin following his being non-tendered, as he is coming off of a down year and a fairly nasty injury, as he would likely have garnered a salary around $5 or $6 million through arbitration.

The Yankees interest in Martin is indicative of a couple of issues. First and foremost, it signals the end of Jorge Posada's tenure as the Yankees full-time (or even "full-time") catcher. Despite the expressed sentiments of Cashman, I doubt that the Yankees are ready to hand the full-time gig to Jesus Montero (which I suppose is an issue in and of itself), and having an established, solid catcher around would certainly help ease the transition. This leads to the other issue - what does this mean for Cervelli? In short, the Yankees don't feel comfortable with his being a Plan B, or even Plan C. Cervelli's defense is simply not as strong as it needs to be to make up for his punchless bat, and the team doesn't appear to be willing to wager another ninety-plus games on some intangible upside.

In my mind, Martin would be a smart pick-up. Posada does not have the legs to catch more than forty or so games, and I don't think Montero's quite ready to squat for a full Major League season, either. That being said, I'm not sure that Martin is in the position to settle for a time share with either.

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