Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Pirates will make the $15.3 million qualifying offer to free agent Russell Martin. He previously reported that Martin turned down a multi-year contract extension offer late in the season.
Martin seems likely to reject the qualifying offer in search of a much bigger payday on the open market following a season in which he hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games.
By doing so he’d still be able to re-sign with the Pirates, but if he signs elsewhere Pittsburgh would receive draft pick compensation. And his new team would have to give up a draft pick, potentially hurting his market. Still, given the MLB-wide dearth of quality catching and the fact that Martin is still just 32 years old he should have plenty of suitors.