Yankees “have expressed interest” in re-signing Russell Martin

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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.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.