Originally written on MLB Buzz  |  Last updated 11/15/14
  While the New York Yankees remain the favorites to sign Russell Martin, they are not the only team pursuing him.   The free-agent catcher also is drawing significant interest from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates, according to major-league sources.   The Rangers, in particular, could pose a threat to the Yankees, who intend to be under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold by 2014.   Martin, 29, almost certainly will command a multi-year deal, and the Rangers conceivably could pressure the Yankees by making him a substantial offer.   On the other hand, the Yankees might not be willing to risk losing Martin over a difference of say, $2 million per season.   The average annual salary of players on multi-year contracts is used for luxury-tax purposes. The Yankees want to reduce their payroll below $189 million by ’14 to reap a variety of significant financial benefits under the new collective-bargaining agreement.   Both the Yankees and Rangers are thin at catche
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