Russell Martin scratched again, looking like DL candidate

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Russell Martin returned Sunday after missing four days with back stiffness, but he wasn’t able to give it another go tonight, as the Yankees scratched him and started Francisco Cervelli behind the plate in the series finale against the Indians.

It makes one wonder if Martin might go on the disabled list within the next 24 hours.  Even if he might be capable of playing through his back problems, it doesn’t look like he’ll be an asset in the process.  He’s currently in a 2-for-32 slump that’s seen him drive in just one run since May 25.

The Yankees, though, have been very patient so far.  One reason for that, perhaps, is that Jesus Montero is in no position to come up and battle for time behind the plate.  The team’s top prospect is hitting .289 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but that comes with just four homers and a 50/12 K/BB ratio in 201 at-bats.  He’s going the wrong way, too, having hit .365 in April, .269 in May and just .130 in 23 at-bats so far this month.

So if the Yankees do decide to place Martin on the DL, odds are that Gustavo Molina would be called up to back up Cervelli.

 

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.