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Russell Martin | Catcher

Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Age / DOB:  (31) / 2/15/1983
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 205
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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Blue Jays signed C Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract.
The deal was reported Monday and has now been officially announced. Martin, who was born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, will be 36 when his contract expires. It's a lot of cash to commit to a position that typically doesn't age well, but Martin is coming off a terrific season and should really help the pitching staff in addition to providing some offensive punch. The Pirates will get a draft pick as compensation for Martin departing. Nov 18 - 10:21 AM

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Date:

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays have signed free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract.

MLB.com's Peter Gammons was the first to report that a deal had been struck, and now Rosenthal brings the financial details. It's pretty similar to the five-year, $85 million contract that Brian McCann got last winter from the Yankees. Martin, 31, hit .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 111 games this past season for Pittsburgh.
Nov 17 - 12:20 PM

According to MLB.com's Peter Gammons, the Blue Jays have signed free agent catcher Russell Martin for "[Brian] McCann money."

McCann got a five-year, $85 million contract last winter from the Yankees. The Cubs were reported to be the favorite for Martin on Sunday night, but Toronto's front office apparently upped its offer and won the sweepstakes. The 31-year-old catcher batted .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 111 games this past season for the Pirates.
Nov 17 - 12:05 PM

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs are believed to be the favorites to sign free agent catcher Russell Martin.

Widely considered to be the top catcher on the free agent market, Martin is expected to land a deal in the range of four years and $64 million. Should the Cubs indeed secure the veteran backstop, it'll be interesting to see if they keep Welington Castillo in a reserve role or look to shop him in order to upgrade elsewhere.
Nov 16 - 9:49 PM

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs "looked like even stronger favorites" to sign Russell Martin at the end of the GM Meetings than they did prior to the Meetings.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported Thursday that the Dodgers are looking closely at Martin, but Wittenmyer says they don't "share as much mutual interest with Martin as some reports suggest." The Blue Jays have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot and the Pirates haven't ruled out re-signing him, but it's looking like the Cubs are the team to beat for Martin. The catcher is reportedly looking for a deal in the $75-80 million range.
Nov 14 - 10:26 AM

According to Jon Heyman on CBS Sports, the Dodgers are looking closely at Russell Martin.

"The Dodgers are looking into bringing back top free agent catcher Russell Martin, league sources said," wrote Heyman. Heyman also name-checks the Cubs, Blue Jays and Pirates as possible landing spots for Martin. However, Martin recently turned down a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Pirates, who went out and traded for Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli. It's possible they know they aren't going to be able to match the deep pockets of the Dodgers or others. Last season, Martin hit .290/.402/.430 for the Pirates.
Nov 13 - 4:29 PM

Russell Martin has turned down a one-year, $15.3 qualifying offer from the Pirates.

Another expected decision. Martin had a fantastic year with the Pirates both with the bat and behind the plate and is reportedly seeking a five-year contract worth between $75-80 million. The Pirates will attempt to keep him, but the Dodgers, Cubs, and Blue Jays are expected to be in the mix as well.
Nov 10 - 4:49 PM

According to Sportsnet's Jeff Blair, free agent catcher Russell Martin is seeking a five-year contract worth between $75-80 million.

That sounds pretty similar to the five-year, $85 million deal that Brian McCann signed last winter with the Yankees. Martin met with the Cubs last week and is also expected to have sit-downs with the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Pirates in the coming days. He posted an exceptional .290/.402/.430 batting line in 111 games this past season for Pittsburgh.
Source: Sportsnet
Nov 10 - 10:21 AM

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms that Russell Martin will reject his one-year qualifying offer from the Pirates.

This was expected all along, as Martin stands to earn a highly lucrative multi-year deal through free agency. He's expected to meet with the Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays at the upcoming winter meetings.
Nov 9 - 10:45 PM

Russell Martin, who met with the Cubs on Thursday, is expected to meet with the Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays in the coming days.

The veteran backstop is considered the top catching target on the open market this winter and is coming off a terrific season where he hit .290/.402/.430 in 111 contests for the Pirates. He's expected to land a very lucrative multi-year deal.
Source: CBS Chicago
Nov 8 - 9:37 AM

Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports that the Cubs "rolled out the red carpet" for free agent catcher Russell Martin on Thursday.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported earlier this week that the Cubs planned to pursue Martin and they have wasted little time to make their pitch. The 31-year-old is likely to land a huge contract after batting .290/.402/.430 over 111 games this season while proving extremely valuable behind the plate. The Pirates will attempt to re-sign him, but they could also see competition from the likes of the Dodgers and Blue Jays.
Source: CBS Chicago
Nov 7 - 11:00 AM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman hears that the Cubs are going to target Russell Martin.

Most expect the Cubs to be a big player in the free agent pitcher market (with Max Scherzer, James Shields, and Jon Lester among the possibilities), but they could also seek an upgrade over Welington Castillo behind the plate. Martin batted .290/.402/.430 over 111 games this past season and is one of the best receivers in the game. The 31-year-old is believed to be looking for a five-year contract. The Pirates will try to make a push to keep him, but the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Red Sox are among the other possibilities.
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 4 - 3:59 PM

Pirates extended a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to C Russell Martin.

An expected decision. The Pirates would like to keep Martin, but they have at least put themselves in position to receive a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere. The 31-year-old batted .290/.402/.430 over 111 games this season and is highly-regarded for his ability behind the plate. He should do well in free agency.
Nov 3 - 4:21 PM

Sportsnet's Jeff Blair reports that the Blue Jays "have had internal discussions" about Russell Martin.

Whether they make a run at the impending free agent is another matter. The Jays already have Dioner Navarro under contract, but they could shift him to a backup catcher/DH role if they sign Martin. The competition will certainly be fierce, as Martin will easily be the best catcher on the free agent market.
Source: Sportsnet
Nov 3 - 10:19 AM

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Pirates are planning to extend a $15.3 million qualifying offer to impending free agent catcher Russell Martin.

It's pretty much a no-brainer for the Bucs, who will attempt to re-sign Martin but can get a compensatory draft pick if he winds up heading to another team. Martin posted a cool .290/.402/.430 batting line in 111 games this season and is still considered a very strong defensive catcher at age 31. He'll be a hot commodity on the open market.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 16 - 1:11 PM