Two Yankees pitchers voiced their support yesterday for free-agent catcher Russell Martin.It's always good to get an endorsement from the ace of the staff, but remember, we're talking about a guy who sat at or under the Mendoza line all season so if they do bring him back I hope it's on a relatively inexpensive deal.
“I think it’s important. He’s been a great addition to our team, on and off the field,” CC Sabathia said of re-signing Martin. “That’s not in my department, though. But we’ll have to just wait and see what happens. But he’s been great for us.”
Derek Lowe, who also is set to be a free agent, is unlikely to return to The Bronx. But the veteran righty raved about Martin, whom he has known since the two were teammates with the Dodgers. Lowe pointed out the value of Martin’s power, the defensive improvement he has made and the significance of Martin having proven he can handle playing in New York.
“I had him in L.A.,” Lowe said. “He’s actually probably gotten a little bit better as far as catching because of experience, and with [bench coach] Tony Pena here being a catching guy. There’s not many catchers that are going to hit you 20 home runs and drive in I don’t know how many he had, call a great game, throw guys out. From that standpoint, he’s a guy that’s only getting better. Again, I can say that because I’ve played with him back in L.A., and I’ve seen the progression in a positive way.
“I know this, and you guys know this, it’s hard to bring guys in here that maybe you don’t know how they’re going to perform. And once you have people here that you know can perform here, in my opinion, you’ve got to keep them. Because you know what you’re going to get.”
If you were wondering, here is a list of catchers who may be available next season via MLB Trade Rumors:
Rod Barajas (37) - $3.5MM club option, no buyout
Henry Blanco (41) - $1.24MM mutual option
Gerald Laird (33)
Russell Martin (30)
Brian McCann (29) - $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
Jose Molina (37) - $1.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Mike Napoli (31)
Miguel Olivo (34) - $3MM club option with a $750K buyout
Ronny Paulino (32)
A.J. Pierzynski (36)
Humberto Quintero (33)
David Ross (36)
Carlos Ruiz (34) - $5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brian Schneider (36)
Kelly Shoppach (33)
Chris Snyder (32) - $4MM mutual option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Yorvit Torrealba (34)
Matt Treanor (37)
Not a lot of great names on there, so Martin may actually end up being their best option.