Arash Madani is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays are trading Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers. No word yet on the return. It is presumed, however, that the Blue Jays will be eating a good portion of Martin’s $20 million salary for 2019.
Martin, who will turn 36 next month, played in 90 games last year and hit .194/.338/.325 with ten homers. This year will be the last year of the five-year, $82 million deal he signed with the Blue Jays. In Los Angeles — where he started his career back in 2006 — look for him to be a backup catcher and, if recent form holds, an occasional fill-in at third base, and a clubhouse guy.
UPDATE: The Dodgers are sending two minor leaguers to Toronto: starting pitcher Andrew Sopko, who had a 3.52 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 9.3 K/9 in 117.2 IP between Double-A Tulsa and Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2018, and shortstop Ronny Brito, who posted an .841 OPS with 11 HR in 244 PAs with Rookie Level Ogden.
Yasiel Puig, unexpectedly, remained unemployed for the entire offseason. But now, a week or so into spring training, it’s appearing as though he may soon have a job. That’s the word from Hector Gomez of Z101, who reports that the Rockies and White Sox have emerged as “frontrunners” to sign the guy.
Puig hit a .252/.302/.475 (92 OPS+) for the Reds before being traded to the Indians. Once in Cleveland his performance improved, however, as he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+). Definitely a down year overall, and a far cry from the sort of superstar performance he showcased when he first broke into the league, but he’s just 29 and still profiles as an above average big league outfielder, on defense and at the plate.
He’d certainly benefit from playing in the thin air of Colorado. He’d also look pretty spiffy in the White Sox’ lineup, though he’d likely have to assume a platoon role there. Which, given that he as better in that role toward the end of his tenure in Los Angeles, would not be the worst idea. He didn’t like it all that much, but at the moment, he needs to find a job.
Anyway, look for Puig to be off the market soon.