Why Russell Martin Should Get An Extension

When the Yankees opened up spring training, it was revealed that they were in talks with Russell Martin about a possible three-year extension. Talks ultimately went nowhere, and Martin and the Yanks decided to hold off on negotiations until after this season. But as we New Yorkers do, I already had my thoughts on the topic, and I am one of the people who strongly support Martin to stay in the Bronx for a few more seasons.

Before I dish out my opinions, I have to admit it’s very weird discussing a Russell Martin extension. The injury-plagued Dodger was coming in last season just to bridge the gap between Jorge Posada hanging up the tools of ignorance, and Jesus Montero donning them for the first time.

On the contrary, Martin had a great year in 2011, hitting 18 home runs and driving in 65 RBI. However, his production at the plate wasn’t the great part, it’s what he did behind it. He managed a very shaky and thin pitching staff to the 4th-best ERA in the A.L., and we simply saw that he is a terrific catcher who knows how to call a game, which is what I want the most out of a catcher.

Martin also showed devotion and determination to staying healthy, and we’ve heard many times of his MMA-style workouts he does in the winter. He’s in great shape and to me no longer a real injury risk. He loves playing for the Yankees, and wouldn’t want to lose his job or leave the team any time soon.

Now I know what you’re thinking – “what about the overload of catchers in the farm system?” Honestly, people don’t realize how none of them are even close to ready to becoming the starting catcher. All of them are incredibly young, and Austin Romine, the most realistic internal replacement, is just starting his first full year in Scranton. Anyone who wants him or one of the rookies to take over next year are out of their minds.

Also, the free agent class that looks so good now, will probably be very scarce with catchers once the Yanks make a decision on Martin. Guys like Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, and Miguel Montero are all scheduled to be FAs if they can’t get extensions done with their respective teams. However, they almost all certainly will. McCann is no doubt staying in Atlanta, Napoli will either stay in Texas or be pursued by a West Coast team, and Montero is the corner-piece of that young Diamondbacks team. Any dreams of them wearing pinstripes really should end now. It’s a great thought, but the chances of the Yanks looking at big-name, big-money catchers to come in for a year or two isn’t good.

So that really does leave us with Russell Martin. As I said, he wants to stay a Yankee, and the Yankees clearly want him to stay too. He is a great catcher with pop, defense, and an incredibly high understanding of the game and how to be a good catcher. Trust me, I’m all for Austin Romine or Gary Sanchez, but when their time comes. And sorry to say, it won’t, and shouldn’t be, in 2012, 2013, or 2014. Martin should get a three-year extension, and should live up to the contract, as he’s hard working, talented, and overall just an outstanding Major League catcher.

Posted on March 3, 2012, in Personal Opinion, Signing & Trade Speculation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Brian, I couldn’t dissagree with you more, when you look at the cap of 189 million in 2014 it looks like Romine will be the catcher with Sanchez pushing him and not far behind. The only way the Yanks keep Martin is if he is willing to sign for 9 million or less long term. I don’t think he will be willing to do that. Catcher is a place the Yanks are strong in the minors. Romine will be an above average catcher in the majors in two years. He will spend this year mostly in AAA and if he fairs well there you will see him as the every day catcher by the end of next year. Catcher is a position where the Yanks are looking to save money in the future. By saving 9 million on a catcher, they can spend more on their outfield and pitching in the coming years. They will no longer have the luxury of signing anyone at any postion, their will be a trade off. This actually is a good thing for the young talent, the Yanks will find a diamond in the rough.

    • Doug the catcher that is pushing Romine will be JR MURPHY.I have seen them play and of all the Yankee minor league catchers he is the guy I like best.
      1-he has short compact swing that produces line drives.I like his mechanics better that Sanchez.
      2-He is very atheletic and has a natural crouch will recieving.
      3-Yanks are converting him to catcher ,the kid never played there before.
      4- He is a hard nosed kid capable of controlling a game.
      5-I met his father and uncle and they are great guys.LOL

      • Ballpark, I can respect you view on Murphy, but all indications are that Romine and Sanchez are the top prospects now at catcher. Romine will be in the majors sometime this year. Murphy seems to be caught in the middle at this point. Sanchez is 2 years younger and almost at the same level. Romine is older and more advanced catching in AAA this year. I heard the Cashman and stick talking about Romine and Sanchez and not Murphy. The next 2 years will be a key for Murphy, if he does well in Trenton and AAA, maybe he will move up the ladder. Sanchez is too young for people to want him to change positions or evaluate as a catcher yet.

  2. I think Cashman made a wise move trying to lock up Martin to a 2-yr extension before Yadier signed. However, if they only offered 3 yrs at around $20M I understand why Martin’s agent declined. I’d be comfortable with 3 yrs @ $25M but apparently Martin wants an annual average salary of over 10-12M per and probably more than just a 2-yr etension beyond this season.

    I expect Russell to have better yr offensively this season now that he’s fully recovered from his knee and hip surgeries. If not interested in a reasonable 2-3 yr deal, I think the Yanks should make a 12.5 Million arbitration offer to Martin. If he accepts, we get him back at a slightly higher salary but for only 1 yr and if he declines we get a #1 pick.

    With a full yr in AAA, hopefully Romine will be ready to catch part-time in 2013. Yanks could sign a veteran to platoon with Cervelli and/or Romine if Martin declines the 12.5M.

    • fishjam, I agree with what you said about arbitration offer for next year, but I don’t think the Yanks sign him long term now. He wants too much money, 2 years from now Romine will be the catcher.

  3. uyf1950…….was just trying to give a hand.
    The end of your comment…
    “I have a lot of respect for what Matt and the others are trying to accomplish with this blog. A place for Yankees fans to share their opinions without a lot of rhetoric that is more suited for political debates then a Yankees blog.”
    Sorry, but was that scripted?

      • uyf1950…..”Not at all”….that was for me?
        It still sounded like you were auditioning,…… for a part.
        Nothing personal, just an observation. Take care.

    • Good morning Pat,Dude you love to stir the pot don’t you????
      This is between me and UYF AND WE WILL WORK IT OUT .Outside parties are not needed.
      How are things going at I-Yanks?

      • Ballpark….my name is Patrick. Don’t start with the Dude jive.
        Stir the pot? That’s your opinion. I just thought uyf1950, should stand up more, and stop apologizing. Your name/Frank…was only one of any examples, I could of used.
        Outside parties are not needed. Mind your own business.
        Things are just fine at Yankees…..why do you ask?

        • Ballpark…..you leaving again? With all of your 20 years of baseball knowledge?
          It’s all about you, isn’t it?
          You are so pompous, condescending, and arrogant. Reread your remarks to uyf1950.
          And, now to go join Ernie, and Twasp?…What make you think they want to be in your company.
          Sorry, Yankee Fans Unite. Lets go Yanks, better days are ahead!

          • Patrick,
            You are a seriously troubled person. The fighting finally stops at i-yanks after you let it go on for 2 yrs and you have to come over here and try to stir the pot. Just like when you jumped in on the Rooster/Ernie argument you do the same thing here with UYF/Ballpark……you jump in and throw digs at both parties. You need to go away……you are nothing but a blogging troll (look it up) who never has a word to say about baseball.

            I have tried to never say a bad word about anyone through all of the stupid bickering that has gone on for yrs, and have even tried to approach you as a gentlemen on several occassions. But I now see that you will never change.

            I for one, think the heated talk here is fine because it all stems from what makes these sites great – differing baseball opinions. You, on the other hand, NEVER talk baseball and only look to further your agenda of sarcasm, insults and condescending remarks. Now run back to i-Yanks and post for the next 2 years on how mean and stale I and YFU is.

            • I second all of the above by Fish.

            • Thank you, Dr. fishjam…for diagnosing me….again!
              Here, try this, one more time. My comment was to ufy1950 only. He was being used as a sparing bag, for some. That was between him, and I. Because I used Ballpark as an
              example…..it offends you? Ballpark was wrong. Twenty years in a batting cage, does not make him any better than us.
              I know what a troll is, especially when I am addressing one.
              Perhaps, you are the one that needs to go away.
              I speak baseball when I want. Not at your direction.
              iYankees has not, and nor will it, attack the YFU site again. You are
              another matter.
              I am tired of your over the top remarks, directed at me.
              Just because you pitched in college, does not make you any better than I.
              Ballpark brought this on himself. He does not like being called to account.
              Now, off with you. And, learn how to mind your own business.

              • Get your last words in Patrick now. Pitching in college has nothing to do with anything and I have NEVER tried to say my baseball opinion was better than anyone’s. I challenge you to find even ONE time over the last 3+ yrs where I have done that.

                Nothing you could ever say could offend me. And I could care less what you say about Ballpark. He can handle you and has before. My problem is with you coming to YFU – where I spend a lot of time and work trying to build up – and poking people to further your agenda of chaos and fighting. Just the same as you did at i-Yanks. No one here is interested in that. Why does UYF need you to tell him to defend himself….and then he answers you and you ask him “was that scripted”. What the hell are you even talking about?

                It’s priceless that you tell me to mind my own business when you are the MASTER at jumping in and putting yourself into other’s matters. UYF didn’t need your support if that’s what you say it was. Answer this for me….you haven’t posted here in weeks, why do you only come here to post when there are arguments? If you can answer that, then I will go away as you say I should.

                • Dr. fish………..you repeat yourself over, and over again.
                  Once more, appointed spokesman……………………It was Ballpark who posted to me
                  this morning, me being the ‘Dude’. I responded to him, not you.
                  Matthew ruffled his feathers, and he toke his 20 years of baseball knowledge
                  and left. In search of Ernie, and Twasp. That was his call.
                  Yes, smart guy, I did come over to YFU…because it’s a free country. Not because of you.
                  I have no reason to speak with you.
                  This was all about me speaking to uyf1950, the rest is in your head.
                  Please don’t leave, I’ll get blamed for that also.

                  • Patrick – You have been given the last word. You are right…you did nothing wrong, it was all my fault. But this “non-baseball” talk of yours is now over. No more remarks of a non-baseball related matter will be entertained.

  4. Matthew…..should that come as a surprise?

  5. Gentlemen, what was a disagreement/argument or whatever term one chooses to use between 2 Yankees fans has morphed into something a lot more over the past few hours. I for one what to and will move on from all this none baseball related talk. I hope everyone else does as well.

    Let’s all enjoy spring training and the 2012 season when it finally starts in April. And let’s all hope as Yankees fans we are celebrating #28 come fall.

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