Apparently the Yankees and Russell Martin have fairly different ideas of what the catcher’s long-term worth is.
Following a round of negotiations this week, GM Brian Cashman said Friday that the two sides have “mutually agreed to wait” on working out an extension beyond 2012.
The 29-year-old Martin will make $7.5 million this season after avoiding arbitration with the Yankees. He signed with the Bombers as a free agent a year ago after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. He didn’t have the service time necessary to become a free agent through normal means after last season, but he will after this year.
CBS Sports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were willing to give Martin a three-year, $20 million deal this winter. That, however, would have amounted to a modest paycut.
Martin stands to join a bumper crop of free agent catchers this winter, with Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli all eligible as well. That might make Martin more amenable to a midseason deal, considering that he probably rates behind the other three players in the group in the eyes of most. Still, there’s no way he’s going to settle for less annually the $7.5 million he’s guaranteed for 2012.