Catching may not be the Pittsburgh Pirates most pressing need this offseason (hello there, pitching), but it’s an area that needed a lift regardless. The Bucs are reportedly set to make a medicore splash on the free agent market after agreeing to terms on a contract with Russell Martin, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Martin’s deal is worth $17 million over two years, according to David Waldstein. If the terms are accurate, that represents a raise of one million dollars compared to Martin’s $7.5 million salary with the New York Yankees in 2012. Rod Barajas, whom the Pirates declined to pick up a $3.5 million 2013 option on last month, earned $4 million last season while struggling at the plate to the tune of .216/.278/.343 with 11 home runs and 11 doubles.

Martin wasn’t much better with the bat last year, but he did swat 21 home runs to prop up his .211/.311/.403 line. According to our friend and Getting Blanked contributor Matt Klaassen’s 2012 defensive catcher rankings, Martin was the 88th best at his position compared to Barajas’ second-to-last showing at 115th.

It’s rather surprising, given the $8.5 million annual price tag, that the Yankees would not offer Martin the third year he was reportedly seeking. So, yeah, the Pittsburgh Pirates just outbid the New York Yankees for one of their own. That’s a thing, I suppose.

Comments (11)

  1. Cue thousands of “J.P.A. to Yankees for Teixeira, Cano and Hughes” level of idiotic suggestions.

  2. Martin is also an excellent pitch framer (right near the top of the league with Jose Molina): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093

    I’m not sure why the Yankees didn’t just give him the money he was asking for, but I’m glad they didn’t.

  3. Its definitely something that the Pirates out bid the Yankees. It is nice to know the Yankees are aware of the luxury tax and that they will spend so widly.

  4. Russell Martin – 2 years/$17 Million- 21 taters, .211/.311/.403 1.5 WAR
    Melky Cabrera- 2 years/$16 Million- 11 taters, .346/.390/.516 4.7 WAR

    I realize that catchers and LF’s are valued differently and whatnot, and that Melky was juicing which definitely lowers his value but I mean christ, even if he hits 2/3′s as well as he did last year he’ll still be much better offensively than Canada’s best shortstop. Still, this comparison makes me laugh quite profusely. Go Jays Go!

  5. If Martin is worth $8.5m a year, what’s JP worth on the open market. Younger, comparable if not better numbers, and controllable for the next 4 years.

  6. Maybe the Yankees can bring Posada back to join the other over-the-hill guys

  7. d’Arnaud for Pineda, a nice reversal of the Pineda for Montero of last year

  8. He is an upgrade over Clint Barmes.

  9. Russ Martin isn’t worth that, its amazing what teams offer players these days. But theres always teams that seem to pay.

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