Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/16/14
The Pittsburgh Pirates dipped into the shallow pool of free agent catchers and found one they feel should help upgrade their lineup and also make them better defensively. Pittsburgh agreed to terms with Russell Martin on a two-year, $17 million contract on Nov. 29. The Pirates made Martin their primary target as soon as teams could begin negotiating with free agents in early November. Martin, 29, hit a career-low .211 last season for the New York Yankees but also had a career-best 21 home runs to go with 53 RBI in 133 games. That is an improvement over Rod Barajas, who did not have the club option in his contract for 2013 exercised by the Pirates after hitting .206 with 11 homers and 31 RBI in 104 games. In a surprise move, the low-budget Pirates outbid the large-market Yankees for Martin. The Yankees, according to a major league source, offered two years and $14 million. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle actively recruited Martin. The two developed a relationship at the 2008 All...
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