Russell Martin signed with the Yankees as a free agent last offseason, but he remains arbitration eligible for 2012 and because of that the All-Star catcher said yesterday that he expects to be back in New York next season.
“So either I’ll get offered a contract or I won’t get offered a contract,” Martin told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. “It is the same situation I was in with the Dodgers last year. Now, it is up to the Yankees to make a decision. For me, I would like nothing more than to be here.”
Whereas the Dodgers non-tendered Martin following a career-worst, injury wrecked season, the Yankees will almost surely retain him for what will likely be around $6 million.
Martin’s overall numbers were mediocre and he cracked a .700 OPS in just two months, but for a one-year commitment at a hard-to-fill position he certainly makes sense after hitting .237 with 18 homers in 125 games. Among the 26 catchers to bat at least 300 times this season Martin ranked 14th in OPS and also threw out 30 percent of steal attempts.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.