Tag:Russell Martin
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:22 pm

Martin blames 'distractions' for decline

Russell Martin
Catcher Russell Martin says he blames unnamed "distractions" for his drop from budding superstar to disappointment.

Speaking to the National Post in his hometown of Toronto, Martin, 27, declined to offer specifics. But he said his decline is no mystery.

"There's some things that you keep for yourself," Martin said. "Those distractions, they're personal -- personal issues in my life that not everybody needs to know about."

At the plate, Russell had a .285/.373/.433 line in his first three years with the Dodgers. The past two seasons he dropped to .249/.350/.330 and hit just 13 homers in 975 plate appearances. His 2010 season ended in early August after a hip fracture.

"I had some distractions that maybe led me not to have that same drive that I've had in the past," he said. "Really, that's all it is, honestly. I didn't train quite as--I trained hard, but before, nobody trained as hard as I did."
The dropoff cost Martin a lot of money. A 27-year-old catcher hitting the open market with the kind if numbers Martin had early in his career would have made a mint, but Martin had to settle for a one-year deal with the Yankees at $4 million. That's not chump change, but he has to look at the $50 million Victor Martinez got this winter and wonder what might have been.

New York is not exactly distraction-free, but Martin insists he's committed to getting back on track.

"I feel like I'm back where I need to be," he said. "Just mentally, I feel better. ... I think I've got a lot to prove, especially with the last couple years that I've had."

In an interview with a Toronto radio station, Martin said he's been told by the Yankees that he's "the starter and the number one guy" at catcher. That would indicate both that Jorge Posada will spend the bulk of his time at designated hitter and that the Yankees are not planning to make top prospect Jesus Montero the everyday catcher yet.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:00 am

Yankees agree to deal with Russell Martin

Russell Martin Hey Yankee fans, it's not Cliff Lee, but the team does now have Russell Martin. So, well, there is that.

The deal has been int he works for days and is far from unexpected, but MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets the deal may be official later today.

Jorge Posada is expected to move to designated hitter and Martin will join super-prospect Jesus Montero to take care of the Yankees' catching duties.

While there are few doubts Montero's bat is ready, his skills behind the plate have been questioned, but with Martin and Posada, the Yankees are covered if he's a disaster behind the plate.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:26 pm

Martin down to four teams

Russell Martin Four teams -- the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees and Rockies -- are the finalists for catcher Russell Martin, FanHouse's Ed Price writes .

Martin was non-tendered by the Dodgers last week, but has found a healthy market for his services. Martin was limited to 97 games last season with a hip injury and has seen his numbers nosedive since his two-year run as one of the better catchers in the game in his first three seasons.

From 2006-08, Martin hit .285/.373/.433 with 42 home runs. In the last two years, he's hit .249/.350/.330 with 12 home runs.

The Red Sox re-signed Jason Varitek last week, but may not be comfortable with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their starter. The Yankees will be moving Jorge Posada to designated hitter, while turning over the catching spot to über-prospect Jesus Montero.

The Rockies and Blue Jays have lost catchers Miguel Olivo and John Buck, respectively, to free agency.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 3, 2010 9:01 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2010 10:27 pm

Huh? Dodgers to pay Barajas $3.25 million

Rod Barajas
So let me see if I've got this straight: The Dodgers nontendered 27-year-old Russell Martin because they were afraid of overpaying him, then a day later they give 35-year-old Rod Barajas, an out-of-shape .239 career hitter, a one-year deal for $3.25 million?

Egad. Sure would be nice to be a free-agent catcher these days.

Apparently the Dodgers are under the impression that the Barajas they had for the last month of 2010, after paying the Mets cash for him following an injury to Martin, is the one they will see in 2011. Problem is, that Barajas, the .297/.361/.578 hitter with five homers in 25 games, was some sort of small-sample-size mirage. The real Barajas is the guy who batted .225 with the Mets, and .226 the year before with the Blue Jays.

Yes, $3.25 million is right around the average major-league salary. But you should at least get an average major-league player for that much.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2010 1:26 pm

Interest heavy in Russell Martin

Martin Now that Russell Martin is a free agent after being non-tendered by the Dodgers, interest is heavy.

Six teams have expressed interest in Martin as a free agent already, as agent Matt Colleran revealed to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports . Colleran added that the Yankees were one of those teams.

As a young catcher, Martin is in demand even as he has hit just .249/.350/.330 over the last 975 plate appearances. From 2006-08, he looked like a longtime star behind the dish -- and he has a strong chance to return to that prognosis.

Don't sleep on the Yankees here, as importing Martin would allow the club to ease Jesus Montero into the starting catcher's role (or trade him). In fact, New York came close to acquiring Martin prior to the non-tender deadline for Francisco Cervelli as Michael Schmidt of the New York Times reveals. Talks were advanced enough that medicals were swapped, but the trigger simply never got pulled.

One has to think the Yankees were the one to back out of talks over concerns about Martin's right hip fracture, which is a rare surgery in baseball and even more concerning due to the fact Martin is a catcher. Colleran says the hip is not an issue and is not restricting Martin.

Buster Olney of ESPN also tweets that Martin, who is from Montreal, would like to play on the East Coast. Sounds even better for New York. The Red Sox and Blue Jays are expected to be among the teams inquiring on Martin's services. And although the Dodgers non-tendered the 27-year-old, L.A. is still expected to talk about Martin's return.

"The Dodgers may become a different option," Colleran told FOX Sports. "They see Russ -- and they know him very well -- as being extremely athletic. Although they may have signed another catcher [The Dodgers are on the verge of signing Rod Barajas], they want to continue discussions with the idea that Russ could come back and catch, play second base and third and a little bit out of outfield to see if he likes something like that in the event he ever wants to transition from behind the plate."

That's unlikely, however, given the amount of interest in Martin as a catcher.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am

Russell Martin among those non-tendered

The deadline to tender contracts was Thursday night at 11:59 p.m., and here's the players who were not tendered contracts and are now free agents:

A's: Edwin Encarnacion, Jack Cust, Travis Buck

Angels: Kevin Frandsen

Astros: Sammy Gervacio

Blue Jays: Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis

Braves: Matt Diaz

Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett

Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco

Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen

Giants: Eugenio Velez, Chris Ray

Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino

Mets: Chris Carter, Sean Green, John Maine

Nationals: Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Chein-Ming Wang

Orioles: Matt Albers

Padres: Scott Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Luis Perdomo, Matt Antonelli

Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres

Rangers: Dustin Nippert

Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell

Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Andrew Miller

Rockies: Manny Delcarmen

Royals: Josh Fields

Tigers: Zach Miner

White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets

Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Mosley

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:13 pm

Dodgers still shopping

The Dodgers made today's big news, signing free-agent starter Jon Garland, but the team isn't finished spending.

On the conference call announcing the move, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he's still looking for a bat and a reliever. He's also needs to decide on what to do at catcher, according to this tweet from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times .

The Dodgers were expected to be hamstrung by the divorce of owner Frank McCourt, but they've re-signed Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda in addition to signing Garland.

It's unlikely the Dodgers can afford one of the higher-priced free agents like Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth or Adam Dunn.

The Dodgers have three catchers on their 40-man roster, but could choose to non-tender Russell Martin. The team also has A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez on the 40-man roster. The team didn't offer arbitration to free-agent catcher Rod Barajas this week.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.  

Posted on: November 17, 2010 9:47 am

Wednesday morning rumor roundup

Tuesday's opening day of the GM meetings was surprisingly action-packed. What will Wednesday bring? Here are some of the rumor tumbleweeds blowing around Orlando and beyond:

* Expanding the playoffs in time for 2011 is unlikely, because it would require tearing up the current collective bargaining agreement. Much more likely is writing it into the new CBA for 2012. (New York Daily News )

* Executives still think Cliff Lee will end up in pinstripes. (New York Post )

* Those same executives think the Florida teams are the most likely landing places if the Diamondbacks opt to move Justin Upton, though the Red Sox and Yankees have made inquiries. (New York Post )

* Maximum contract Boston is willing to offer Adrian Beltre: four years, $52 million. (Boston Globe )

* The Dodgers are trying to figure out what to do with Russell Martin. (Los Angeles Times )

* The Cubs finally unveiled some images of their plans for Wrigley Field renovations. (Chicago Tribune )

* There are several options for the Twins' middle infield, including Tsuyoshi Nishioka, though Minnesota seems unlikely to win the posting. (Star Tribune )

* The Orioles haven't gotten anywhere with Ty Wigginton or Cesar Izturis beyond initial conversations. (mlbtr.com)

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com