Report: Pirates Offering $25 M for Russell Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has an update on the Russell Martin bidding, noting that the Pirates and Yankees seem to be the leaders in the race. He notes that the Pirates actually may have the high bid at the moment.

Word going around is that the Pirates might come in with the high bid, perhaps for three years and close to $25 million. The Yankees are not believed to be offering anything close to that, but the bidding isn’t over and it has been thought likely that Martin would prefer to stay in New York, where he has been the starting catcher the past two seasons.

The Yankees are thought likely to be offering only a two-year deal to date, but if they get close to Pittsburgh’s reputed offer, either by bumping up the salary, adding an option year or perhaps even a third year, they still might have the inside track. Martin is well-liked in Yankees circles, and there aren’t a lot of great outside options.

From everything I’ve seen, the Yankees really like Martin. I’d be surprised if they get out-bid by a three-year, $25 M deal. If they top the Pirates, they might be doing Pittsburgh a favor. Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS had a look at how adding Martin would be setting money on fire. He notes that Martin isn’t a very good catcher, and will probably see his skills go down in Pittsburgh with PNC’s layout hurting the right-handed hitter, and the Pirates’ philosophy for holding runners hurting his caught stealing numbers. Martin looks like he would be better than Barajas, but he doesn’t look like he’d be worth $8 M a year. In my opinion, the Pirates would be better off investing that money on a position that could add some value, rather than giving that to Martin only because he’s the best player in a weak catching market.

UPDATE 6:15 PM: A few notes from Ken Rosenthal on Twitter:

UPDATE 7:43 PM: Rob Biertempfel has an update, saying the Pirates haven’t offered as high as $25 M.


Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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