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.
Source: #Pirates reach agreement with Russell Martin, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2012
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.