First Pitch: The Pirates Could Have Up to Four Starters on Their Bench

Back in 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates ran into a horrible situation with their catchers. They used eight catchers in the majors that year, with Michael McKenry getting the most playing time, despite the fact that he was acquired for cash considerations, and was about the fifth or sixth option they went with. Other options included Matt Pagnozzi, Wyatt Toregas, and Dusty Brown, with...
Via Pirates Prospects
2 days ago  |  Discuss

DFP: Lester, Montero, and Framing

Jon Lester Paying $150+ million for a pitcher with 1600 career innings isn’t the safest of investments, but it sure is nice that the Cubs finally signed someone. After years of missing out on seemingly all of their big-name targets, I can’t have been the only person that was worried that the team simply didn’t have the TV revenue necessary to hang in the modern free agent...
Via Obstructed View
4 days ago  |  Discuss

Friday Links: Checking in on AL East rivals; Toronto Blue Jays edition

By now I imagine that we’re all pretty well versed in acquisitions that the Boston Red Sox have made so far this offseason, but they’re not the only team that has been busy in the American League East. The Toronto Blue Jays, who finished third in the division standings last season, added some thump to the middle of their order with additions on both the free agent market and...
Via Fire Brand AL
6 days ago  |  Discuss

Miguel Montero a strong fit with Chicago Cubs

While it wasn’t the marquee move that the Chicago Cubs are still hoping to pull off, the Windy City’s club from the North Side did pull off a rather significant move at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday. The team acquired catcher Miguel Montero from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a pair of low level minor league arms. Montero fills an area of need for the Cubs, who...
Via The Outside Corner
15 days ago  |  Discuss

Francisco Liriano re-ups with Pirates for three years

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost catcher Russell Martin earlier this winter to the Blue Jays, but they won’t be losing starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. The club has agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with Liriano that will keep him in the black and gold. Source: Francisco Liriano to the #Pirates on a three-year, $39 million deal. — Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayMLB) December...
Via The Outside Corner
16 days ago  |  Discuss

Heyman: Dodgers Offered Martin Four Years and $74 Million

We still don’t really know what the Dodger catching situation is going to look like in 2015, but I imagine it’s not going to look like it does right now. A.J. Ellis was tendered a contract, Drew Butera was DFA’d, and Ryan Lavarnway was claimed. Ellis has much to prove coming off a poor 2014, Lavarnway may not even be considered a catcher any longer —  he played twice as...
Via Dodgers Digest
19 days ago  |  Discuss

Not Every Free Agent Is Expensive

This offseason, it seems like everyone is coming at a premium price. Pablo Sandoval, Russell Martin, Victor Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Billy Butler all smashed their crowdsourcing projections. Zach Duke got $15 million and we didn’t even bother crowdsourcing him! And we haven’t even reached the Winter Meetings. Yet not every free agent […]
Via Fangraphs
20 days ago  |  Discuss’s Top 50 Prospects For the 2015 Draft has posted their list of the top 50 draft prospects for the 2015 amateur draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 20th overall pick in the first round, which could still move up. They began the off-season with the 23rd overall pick, but that was before three teams ahead of them with unprotected picks signed a free agent that cost them their first round pick. The Pirates also...
Via Pirates Prospects
21 days ago  |  Discuss

Opinion: Blue Jays Soaring High

Coming into the offseason, no one really expected the Toronto Blue Jays to be huge players in the free agent market. But after signing catcher Russell Martin to an $82-million contract over five years, they are suspected to be in on a few other “big-named” players. One of those being three-time champion Pablo Sandoval. This is surprising, because it was rumored that the San...
Via Baseball Essential
November 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Blue Jays GM calls Martin 'key to our offseason'

  In his pursuit of Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos made his intentions clear in a message to the free-agent catcher's representative. ''At one point I mentioned to the agent, `Just so you know. I'm signing the player,''' a smiling Anthopoulos remembered telling Matt Colleran. ''Obviously, that wasn't to be arrogant or cocky. I felt we wanted him...
Via AP on Fox
November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Nomar And Russell Martin Did Tequila Shots?

As we have said many times over the years, almost any story in baseball has some Red Sox connection. So it is with Toronto's recent free-agent signing of catcher Russell Martin. The Canadian native recounted a story of his first call-up with the Dodgers back in 2006—where one of his new teammates was none other than Nomar Garciaparra. The 'Big Blue Machine' was in the midst of...
Via FenwayNation
November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Where should catching starved teams look for help?

The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t surprise too many people when they threw a whole bunch of money at Ontario native Russell Martin. And as blasphemous as a five-year deal for a catcher heading into his age 32 season may sound, it was probably necessary for them to actually be able to reign him in (even though we all know five years for a catcher heading into his age 32 season is...
Via Bloguin Best
November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Russell Martin And Big Contracts To Older Catchers

Just like winter, hot stove season appears to be arriving early this year. Somewhat lost in all of the hubbub regarding Giancarlo Stanton‘s record-breaking deal is Russell Martin‘s five-year, $82 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Though it is heavily backloaded, this still ranks as the third-largest catching contract currently on any club’s books […]
Via Fangraphs
November 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Did The Dodgers Make A Mistake In Non-Tendering Russell Martin in 2010?

A quick final thought on Russell Martin, who will be catching for the next five years in Toronto, and therefore not Los Angeles: I’m not sure if $82 million is the record for a player who was once non-tendered, but it has to at least be in the conversation. As you may or may not remember, the Dodgers decided to let Martin walk in the fall of 2010 rather than go to arbitration,...
Via Dodgers Digest
November 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Here Come the Blue Jays

The Blue Jays aren’t messing around. That much became clear when they signed free-agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82.5 million contract Monday, outbidding notable heavyweights in the Cubs and Dodgers in the process. The signing comes with its fair share of risks (as does any big-money contract, no matter the player). A year ago, Martin hit .226/.327/.377 for the Pirates...
Via Fire Brand AL
November 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Russell Martin's $82M deal with Jays brings him only $7M in 2015

  Free-agent catcher Russell Martin and the Toronto Blue Jays finalized an $82 million, five-year contract on Tuesday. A three-time All-Star, Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI last season, while also helping the Pirates to a second straight playoff berth. He gets $7 million next year, $15 million in 2016 and $20 million in each of the final three seasons. Toronto announced...
Via AP on Fox
November 19, 2014  |  Discuss

FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron Analyzes All Atlanta Deals

Episode 505 Dave Cameron is both (a) the managing editor of FanGraphs and (b) the guest on this particular edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which edition he discusses mostly the recent baseball deals involving Jason Heyward, Russell Martin, and (vitally) Tommy La Stella. Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter. You […]
Via Fangraphs
November 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Martin, Jays finalize $82 million, 5-year contract

TORONTO (AP) Free agent catcher Russell Martin and the Toronto Blue Jays finalized an $82 million, five-year contract on Tuesday. A three-time All-Star, Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs last season, while also helping the Pirates to a second straight playoff berth. He gets $7 million next year, $15 million in 2016 and $20 million in each of the final three seasons....
Via AP on Fox
November 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Russell Martin, Blue Jays agree to five-year deal

The Toronto Blue Jays made a splash of their own this offseason by inking catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million deal, according to reports. The veteran catcher has been around for quite some time, previously a member of the Dodgers, Yankees, and Pirates. But as the saying goes, he’s an “oldie but a goodie.” Source: Martin deal with #BlueJays is five years, $82M...
Via Baseball Essential
November 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Farewell and thank you, Russell Martin

Now that it’s more or less official that Russell Martin won’t be a Pirate in 2015, I have some mixed feelings. I don’t know how much money the Pirates offered Martin and I suspect that we won’t really know for sure (their negotiations with starting pitchers will be much more difficult if agents know how much they were willing to spend on Martin) for a while, but from my perspective...
November 18, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Catcher Defense Has Gained a Massive Amount of Appreciation in Two Years

Two years ago, Russell Martin made a very smart decision. He was reportedly seeking four years and $9-10 M per year, and no team would come close to that amount. The New York Yankees were reported to have offered two years and $13 M, or three years and $21 M. The Pittsburgh Pirates had the top offer at two years and $17 M. They also made a three-year offer. Martin declined that offer...
Via Pirates Prospects
November 18, 2014  |  Discuss

Russell Martin Comes Home To Canada

The Toronto Blue Jays have made their biggest free agent signing since Alex Anthopoulos took over as the teams GM in 2009. Anthopoulos has never been afraid to pull big trades (see, Roy Halladay, R.A. Dickey, and Jose Reyes). It is the lack of big free agent signings that has angered and frustrated Blue Jays fans but they finally got their wish today when the team signed Canadian...
Via Baseball Hot Corner
November 17, 2014  |  Discuss

AP source: Blue Jays sign C Russell Martin

TORONTO (AP) A person with knowledge of the deal says the Toronto Blue Jays and free agent catcher Russell Martin have agreed to a five-year, $82 million contract. Martin took a physical Monday and the Blue Jays are expected to finalize the deal Tuesday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete. A three-time All-Star, Martin...
Via AP on Fox
November 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Toronto Blue Jays Sign Catcher Russell Martin

It appears that veteran catcher Russell Martin has found a new home, and it is in his country of birth. Martin has left the Pittsburgh Pirates to join the Toronto Blue Jays on a 5 year / $82 million deal. The 32 year old Canadian is considered to be one of the best signal callers and, game managers in the MLB and will be a big help in the development of the many young arms that...
Via The Sideline
November 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Blue Jays have made a statement by signing Russell Martin

The signing of free agent Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract is out of character for the Toronto Blue Jays under general manager Alex Anthopoulos. And that’s why it’s the right move. There will be fans and media members who question whether the Blue Jays spent too much on a soon-to-be 32-year-old catcher. When placed in the proper context, it’s obvious they...
Via Fox Sports
November 17, 2014  |  Discuss
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