Russell Martin faces an uncertain future with the Dodgers

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Russell Martin has missed 45 games since suffering a season-ending hip injury in early August and so yesterday Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times chatted with the Dodgers catcher about his future.
Martin replied “of course” when asked if he wants to remain with the Dodgers, but then responded “I have to discuss that with my agent” when asked if he’d consider inking a 2011 contract before the December 12 deadline to tender arbitration.
By doing so Martin could avoid the risk of being non-tendered and the Dodgers could avoid having to give him a raise on his current $5 million salary via the arbitration process. “I don’t like to think ahead too much, you know?” Martin told Hernandez.
It’s tough to blame him too much for thinking a discounted, pre-arbitration deal with the Dodgers may not be a great decision, because while Martin’s production has dropped off in recent years and he’s now sidelined by a major injury it’s still difficult to imagine him not getting a multi-year contract as a free agent.
Or put another way, while his .249/.350/.330 production since the beginning of 2009 is disappointing and represents a huge dropoff from his 2006-2008 production it’s still above average for a catcher. Obviously the injury complicates his status quite a bit, but Hernandez reports that Martin is expected to avoid surgery and he’s still just 27 years old (albeit 27 years old with a ton of wear and tear).

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.

Report: Jeff Manship signs with NC Dinos

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Jeff Manship #53 of the Cleveland Indians throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.

Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.

The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.