Russell Martin’s deal with Yanks includes $1.4M in incentives

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From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Yankees have included $1.4 million in performance-based incentives in their new one-year, $4 million contract with catcher Russell Martin.

Martin has already passed his physical with the Yanks and the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this week.

The 27-year-old will start behind the plate on Opening Day in New York and will look to turn his career around in the hitter-friendly ballparks of the American League East.  The Yankees will probably send catching prospect Jesus Montero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the start of the year.  Jorge Posada will act as the club’s primary DH and backup catcher.

The Dodgers offered Martin a one-year contract with a base salary of $4.2 million before non-tendering him earlier this month.  That deal contained up to $1.5 million worth of incentives, but he would’ve had to start 140 games to maximize all of it.  He only has to start 120 games in pinstripes to maximize his potential $5.4 million salary.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.