First Pitch

First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority

First Pitch: Bringing Back Russell Martin Needs to Be a Top Priority

Last off-season was filled with a lot of drama surrounding A.J. Burnett, qualifying offers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates approach with free agency and the percentage that individual players take up on the team payroll.

Prepare for act two this coming off-season.

The Pirates will go through the same situation again with Russell Martin. To be accurate, it won't be the exact situation. There won't be a chance of Martin saying that he's either going to play for the Pirates or retire, then debate his future for months, then decide he will play for a team other than the Pirates. This will be a pretty straight forward situation -- the Pirates have a good player leaving for free agency, and he'll be looking for his final big payday.

Burnett wasn't signed last year, and I was fine with that. The Pirates had some good pitching depth, and they've shown a good ability to find value when it comes to pitchers. As it turns out, not signing Burnett hasn't hurt them at all. He would currently be...

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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 AccuScore.com, 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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