Yankees and Russell Martin avoid arbitration with one-year, $7.5 million deal

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Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News passes along word that the Yankees and Russell Martin have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that he’ll make $7.5 million with the chance for $100,000 in performance-based incentives.

Martin requested $8.2 million and was offered $7 million from the Yankees when arbitration figures were exchanged a week ago, so they’ll meet at the midpoint if he reaches all incentives.

Martin joined the Yankees last offseason on a one-year, $4 million deal after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. The 28-year-old backstop batted .237/.324/.408 with 18 homers, 65 RBI and a .732 OPS in 2011 while throwing out 30 percent of attempted basestealers. He can become a free agent next offseason.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.