Via George King -
The Yankees have extended an offer to free agent Russell Martin and explained to his agent they view him as a starting catcher.
“They made an offer and have serious interest,’’ agent Matt Colleran said Thursday. “We are at the point where we are having serious discussions with the Yankees, Red Sox and Toronto.’’
Asked what role the Yankees have told the right-handed hitting Martin they want him for, Colleran said, “starting catcher.’’
Though the Yankees never guaranteed stud prospect Jesus Montero the starting job when they told Jorge Posada to be ready for extended DH duty, it was assumed Montero would get first crack at replacing Posada behind the plate. If Martin signs it could be an indication the Yankees aren’t convinced Montero is ready.
Martin, 27, was non-tendered by the Dodgers recently. They were wary of going to arbitration with him after me made $5 million last year when he batted .248 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 97 games. His season ended Aug. 3 when he broke his hip sliding into home plate.
Know the last time Martin had a slugging percentage above .400? That would be 2007. Know the last time Martin had an Offensive Winning Percentage above .446? That would be 2008. Yeah, back in 2007-2008, Russell Martin was a pretty good, albeit not great, offensive player for a catcher. However, the last two seasons? Think: Francisco Cervelli, last season. Or, maybe a tick better than that…say…Rod Barajas circa 2008-2009 or John Buck circa 2007-2008.
Sure, maybe Martin can bounce back to those 2007-2008 level? Then again, in Yankeeland, he could be this season’s version of last year’s Nick Johnson too.