The Yankees have “responded” to the Phillies acquiring Cliff Lee, as they’ve agreed to a deal with (soon-to-be) 28-year-old free agent catcher Russell Martin. The contract is unknown at this time, but if I had to guess I’d say something like one year, $5.5 million (purely a guess).
Martin played 97 games last year after his season ended in August due to a hairline fracture in his right hip.
Here are Martin’s 162 game averages with the Dodgers: .272/.365/.396, 13 HR, 73 RBI, 84 R, 16 SB. He was definitely the best catcher on the market this offseason, but his statistics have declined after his breakout season in 2007.
Right now, I see Martin taking over starting catching duties Jesus Montero backing him up and splitting time with Jorge Posada at designated hitter.
But the question is, should the Yankees trade Montero for a top starter? Well, Zack Greinke is not an option. If he were available, I’d say yes, go for him. But with a thin market, I’d rather not overspend on a so-so starter.
On the other hand, the Yankees have several catchers waiting behind Montero in the wings, namely Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez.