Russell Martin C TOR 1 month ago

Martin caught for R.A. Dickey in Monday's intrasquad game for an inning, where they planned cross-ups to see if Martin could handle his knuckleballs, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

Coming into the season, it was thought that Josh Thole, Dickey's personal catcher from last season, would continue to catch the 40-year-old knuckleballer. However, if throughout the spring, Martin displays an ability to catch Dickey, he could be in line for extra work and wouldn't need to DH or take the day off on every fifth day.

Russell Martin C TOR 4 months ago

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Monday that he envisions Martin as the team's No. 2 hitter, Barry Davis of reports.

Most of Martin's at-bats last season came in the five-hole, but apparently Gibbons thinks the No. 2 spot is the best place to maximize his value. It makes some sense, as Martin posted a .402 OBP last season and his presence in the two-hole would mean more RBI opportunities for the likes of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Things could change, however, if the team lands a left-handed bat prior to spring training.

Russell Martin C TOR 4 months ago

Martin signed a five-year, $82 million contract with the Blue Jays on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.

Martin had arguably his best season statistically in 2014, hitting .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in just 111 games. It also helped that the season came at the end of a contract, and now his average salary will be $16.4 million over the next five seasons.

Russell Martin C TOR 5 months ago

Martin has declined the Pirates' $15.3 million qualifying offer, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.

As expected, Martin will test his value as a free agent rather the take the one-year, $15.3 million offer, which is yet to be accepted by any players this offseason. After a strong 2014 season, Martin will easily be able to command a longer-term deal, and he reportedly already has a few high-profile suitors. Pittsburgh, of course, would love to have him back, but the Dodgers and Cubs, among others, are believed to be very interested in his services. Martin hit .290 last season, with a .402 OBP, and threw out 39 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Russell Martin C TOR 5 months ago

The Pirates extended Martin a $15.3 million qualifying offer Monday, reports.

Martin will have one week to decide whether he'll accept the offer, which seems very unlikely. After a season in which he raised his batting average 64 points, he's established himself as the top catcher on the market and figures to fetch some lucrative offers as a free agent. Players can begin negotiating with other teams at midnight Monday.

Russell Martin C TOR 5 months ago

The Pirates plan to extend Martin the $15.3-million qualifying offer, reports.

The 15.3 million would represent a significant raise for Martin, who earned a combined $17 million over the past two seasons, but he'll likely receive several multi-year offers in free agency after an outstanding 2014 campaign. Martin, 31, hit .290/.402/.430 with 11 homers in 111 games during the regular season, and is also highly regarded for his pitch framing and throwing abilities. This move would protect the Pirates, as they would receive a compensatory draft pick should Martin leave this winter.

Russell Martin C TOR 6 months ago

Martin (hamstring) is in the lineup for Wednesday's Wild Card game against the Giants.

Tightness in Martin's left hamstring resulted in his removal from last Wednesday's game, and when the hamstring presented issues again Friday, the Pirates decided to play it safe and hold him out of the final two regular season games. Martin said Tuesday that he felt "pretty good," but with Chris Stewart (wrist) also banged up, the Pirates have decided to carry a third catcher in Tony Sanchez. Manager Clint Hurdle is batting Martin cleanup Wednesday, a spot in the order in which he went just 3-for-31 (.097 average) during the regular season.

Russell Martin C TOR 6 months ago

Martin (hamstring) said Tuesday he believes he'll start Wednesday. "I feel pretty good," the catcher told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "At this point, it's pretty important baseball."

Martin missed one month with a similar injury earlier in 2014. He initially re-injured his hamstring Wednesday and then tweaked it Friday. It remains to be seen whether five days of rest is enough for the hammy to heal, but the Bucs have no choice in the matter and need him against the Giants.

Russell Martin C TOR 6 months ago

Martin (hamstring) expects to start Wednesday's NL Wild Card game against the Giants, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Martin and backup Chris Stewart were both adamant that it will be Martin behind the plate to catch Edinson Volquez, though manager Clint Hurdle was coy about Martin starting. The skipper did, however, indicate the decision to sit Martin on Sunday was more precautionary than anything, after Martin again tweaked his hamstring in last Friday's win over the Reds.

Russell Martin C TOR 6 months ago

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle indicated the decision to sit Martin (hamstring) on Sunday was more precautionary than anything, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Although Hurdle did not provide a medical update on Martin, who did not play at all in the final two games of the regular season after tweaking his hamstring last Friday, his comments suggest Martin will be behind the plate for Wednesday's NL Wild Card game. Martin not only hit .290/.402/.430 with 11 homers in his 111 games this season, he also gunned down 37 of 96 baserunners who tried to steal on him.