Cubs “rolled out the red carpet” for Russell Martin

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Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reported previously that the Cubs planned to make a run at Russell Martin and now he writes that they “rolled out the red carpet” in meeting with the free agent catcher yesterday.

Levine says the Cubs are one of at least four teams in serious talks with Martin, who hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games for the Pirates this season and will turn down the $15.3 million qualifying offer in search of a bigger deal.

Chicago’s current starting catcher, Welington Castillo, hit just .237 with a .686 OPS this season after back-to-back solid years in 2012 and 2013. And because the Cubs’ first-round draft pick is protected, they’d give up a second-rounder to sign Martin.