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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.