Russell Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran, told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News that he’s “had some initial conversations” with the Yankees and “they’ve expressed interest in bringing him back.”
Martin had an odd two-year run with the Yankees, staying healthy and showing more power than ever before, but hitting just .224 in 258 games after batting .272 in 667 games for the Dodgers.
His overall production was above average for catchers with a .723 OPS and Martin did a solid job throwing out runners, so it makes sense that the Yankees would be interested in bringing the 30-year-old free agent back while waiting for their catching prospects to develop further in the minors.
Martin and the Yankees were reportedly close to finalizing a multi-year contract extension prior to spring training, but talks fell apart and he played out the contract while earning $7.5 million.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.