Blue Jays Signing Russell Martin to a Five Year Deal

The Toronto Blue Jays will be signing Russell Martin to a five year deal, according to Jon Heyman. Peter Gammons first broke the news, saying Martin got “McCann money”.

There was some confusion at first, since it first appeared that Gammons was repeating the rumors that Ken Rosenthal had last night, saying Toronto would be players for Martin. Last night the Cubs were the frontrunners for the catcher at four years and $64 M. If Martin did receive “McCann money”, then that would be five years and in the $85 M range.

I don’t think that’s a range where the Pirates could have afforded Martin, both in dollars and years. The silver lining here is that Martin won’t be going to the Cubs, and won’t even be in the NL. The Pirates already have their Plan B in Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart, although that combo is just a defense-first combo. They will need to upgrade other positions in order to fully make up for the loss of Martin.

UPDATE 12:13 PM: Rosenthal says it’s five years and $82 M.

UPDATE 12:34 PM: Because the Blue Jays signed Martin, they lose their first round pick in 2015, which was number 17 overall. That means the Pirates now move up to 21st overall. They will also get a comp pick for Martin, which is currently 35th overall. Expect that to move up as the off-season continues.

  • Best of luck to Russ thanks for the time in the burgh, just so very glad he did not go to the cubs, I’m pretty sure I would have skipped watching those games.

  • I’m saying the Pirates should be awarded the Bluejays 1st pick and keep their own. Instead they got the 35th for Martin which may move up. Many teams benefit due to the Bluejays signing of Martin or any signing when only the Pirates or the team that loses a player should receive compensation.

  • It may sound like a lot of money… but if it is Canadian Dollars then $82 million roughly amounts to $20 grand of actual money. One Canadian Dollar has approximately the same value as an Indonesian Rupiah or a Columbian Peso… basically the value of the paper on which it is printed. I suppose you could wipe yourself with a Canadian dollar, so it has value as toilet tissue if nothing else…

    Wait… what? It is actual US currency??? Never mind. Huge over-pay.

  • Martins production IMO comes down to how the manager uses him, Hurdle gave him plenty of rest, if Toronto thinks they can get 140 or 150 out of him that batting average is going to take a hit.

    • Irrespective of whether Martin catches 110 games or 150 games, I definitely don’t think Martin will stand in and get plunked 15 times next year. I am also curious whether that patient 4.21 pitches per plate appearance will hold up or will the Blue Jays look for him to hit with less patience and more power?

  • On a totally unrelated note, think theres any chance the commissioner rejects Giancarlo Stanton’s new contract? 13 years is too long, and we’ve seen in hockey that they made those kind of deals illegal.

  • They can use the money to improve the offense something Martin was clearly lacking. Trade Pedro, dump the two headed useless 1B monster and there is a whole lot of cash to that end.

  • It’s amazing that just 2 years ago (when his body was 2 years younger, mind you!!) this guy wasn’t worth more than 2 years, $17m to any team in baseball….

    • Take it a step further…who thought he would get four years, let alone five, in April of this year?

      People can claim that this contract signifies defense and pitch framing being valued more on the open market all they want, but they’re fooling themselves if they think he would’ve gotten more than half of this had he not hit way, wayyyy over his head this year. Offense still gets paid.

      • Half is still twice as much as two years ago and it’s difficult to believe you think toronto believes martin is going to hit like he did 2014

        • I didn’t say I think Toronto believes he will hit like he did in 2014.

          What 2014 did for Russell Martin was raise his peak. You don’t spend over $80m on a catcher who you think will start out as an average to slightly below average hitter and get worse with age. You convince yourself that 2014 raised the actual talent level he has as a hitter to something above average and assume he’ll get worse from that higher starting point.

          • “You convince yourself that 2014 raised the actual talent level he has as a hitter to something above average and assume he’ll get worse from that higher starting point.”

            Apparently Toronto did not bother to look at Martin’s home / road splits from last year:

            Home – .343 AVE, .939 OPS
            Road – .245 AVE, .736 OPS

            Wonder how much of that “higher starting point” was Russ hitting more to the short right field at PNC?

            Rogers Centre is a “more honest” field. 328 Ft down both lines, 375 Ft to both power alleys, and 401 to straight away center.

            • lonleylibertarian
              November 17, 2014 7:40 pm

              A look at Martin’s spray chart would prove you wrong 😉

            • I would think it has more to do with PNC Park’s enormous left field!

            • PNC park suppress home runs to both right and left relative to the league, the short porch is a misnomer. Rogers Centre is friendly to power from both sides


              Average temperature, humidity and ball park orientation are more important than the distance of the fences.

              If you want to highlight were Martin’s offense will decline/regress look at his BABIP based on batted ball type, 2014 (Career average), grounders .273 (.230), fly balls .195 (.124), and line drives .707 (.694). The high BABIP made his 2014 season. Martin deserves credit thought he change his approach from his previous years, and became more contact oriented, using the whole field and not selling out for power, the whole Pirates team sort of did this.

              That type of approach can lead to better overall batted ball production, but more importantly it demonstrates that Martin’s bat still has some life. If you look at his offense from 2010-13 it was showing the characteristics of a hitter in decline, he was trading contact for power, trying to do damage pulling mistake fastballs. His ISO numbers looked good, but his strikeouts were increasing and average falling. (Some this could be that, this type of approach was advantageous in the wind tunnel in New York.)

              So I agree with what NMR is saying in that 2014 was a bit of reset, instead of projecting Martin’s offense to further decline based on 201-13, he might have altered his skill set to stave off that decline. Not going to repeat 2014, but an elite defensive catcher, hitting at league average for a couple of year is very valuable.

    • lonleylibertarian
      November 17, 2014 5:10 pm

      Not true – the Bucs offered three and Martin insisted on two years – he knew he had to get back on track offensively and wanted to be ready for this one big payday.

      Some comments on him not contributing offensively are way off base. I got to see him hit perhaps the second biggest HR in Pirate history a bit over a year ago and this year he made several adjustments to his swing and approach that seem to have paid off.

      Even if he regresses slightly he gives the jays a better offense immediately

      Why ll be interesting to see if they now try and sign liriano or volquez or both

      • Wouldn’t surprise me if the Pirates go for both. Where would they have been last year if Worley wasn’t able to fill in?

        They won’t have Morton to start the season and so even with Burnett, they will have a hole in the rotation to fill if either Liriano or Volquez leaves.

        Projected opening day rotation:

        • lonleylibertarian
          November 17, 2014 6:47 pm

          Locke will be fine at #4 and early on the need for a fifth starter is not all that great – Cumpton is
          still an option.

          But yes – I am coming around to making a run at McCarthy – and if they could get both Frankie and EV at ~ $20M for two years I would not object.

          • I think getting EV and Frankie for two years would cost around $23 to $25 million a year. Not a bad investment, certainly better than Martin at $16.5 a year for 5 years.

          • Locke will be fine for half of a season. Then he’ll run out of gas.

      • “Even if he regresses slightly he gives the jays a better offense immediately”

        That’s not at all true, and is a pretty big slight to Dioner Navarro.

        Especially if you were to get the 2013 versions of both players.

        • lonleylibertarian
          November 17, 2014 7:36 pm

          They like Navarro and plan on making him the primary DH – one reason they had to move Lind. Will be interesting to see how many games he catches – Martin caught about 2/3 of all games the last two years if I recall correctly – that leaves 50 or so for Navarro – and maybe a few more if the use Martin at DH to rest him even more. I do think that the changes Martin made to his approach and swing last year will stick. The home/away splits would worry ,me though.

          • You also have to consider Dickey’s 30-32 starts. Thole is RAD’s personal catcher. I don’t think Martin will be handling knucklers and as Navarro didn’t this year, it’s likely Thole – or another catcher who can handle knucklers – will still be on the roster.

      • Just a guess lonely, but I would think they would value a LH SP more than a RH. Particularly after the Heyward deal. He and Adams in that Cardinal lineup are a lot of strikeouts waiting to happen with a LH on the mound.

  • Congrats to Russell Martin!! Very cool that he got all that money and that he’s going to be playing in Canada (even though Toronto is like 600 miles from where he was born in Ontario!)

    Good to see a hard-working guy (who seems to be a good guy as well) get what he deserves.

    • Though, I guess he actually grew up in Montreal, which is, of course, much closer, to where he’ll be playing his home games until 2019!

  • so much for getting Castillo from the Cubs…..Martin got a heck of a deal from Toronto….as much as I like Martin and wished to have him back, there is no way I would give him 5 years – and certainly not at $82 million.

    Now we have the two hitless wonders catching next year – we better improve first base offensively, although I don’t see how they will barring a trade.

    Did the Pirates try to extend Martin after the 2013 season?

    • Cervelli is no slouch. he’s really not much worse than what we all expected Martin to be at the time he was signed. Excellent defender with a .700ish OPS. Heck. Polanco waking up and becoming what he could be will MORE THAN make up for the difference between Martin and Cervelli.

      It’s okay to have Cervelli as the catcher as long as they spend the Martin money (and maybe even more) somewhere else

    • Cervelli is actually a decent hitting catcher, his issue is health. Tony Sanchez also has the look of a decent hitter but likely can’t field the position well enough.

      Why is hard to see Pedro hitting more in line with his career numbers without the burden of his psychological throwing issue? Steamer has him at 114 wRC+ next year, of course it likes Ike (118) even better, lol, projections systems!?

      Martin’s people claimed he wanted an extension last winter and the Bucs said wait and see.

  • I’d rather the Cubs had signed Martin to this contract than Toronto.

    Chicago isn’t going to be good for at least 2 years and I’d rather have a team in our division stuck with that albatross of a contract. Does anyone think he’s going to be worth $16 million 2017, 2018 and 2019? Defense is starting to be valued but not that much.

    • We may be alone, but I completely agree with you here.

      • Plus, now instead of probably wasting a perfectly good year of Martin in 2015 when the team is *probably* not ready to compete, they’ll throw the kitchen sink at Matt Wieters in 2016 when the team will *probably* be ready to be good.

        So instead of paying $15 mil to become a 80 win team instead of a 75 win team (pointless), they’ll be able to wait and spend that when it’ll actually turn them from an 80 win team into an 84 win team (not pointless).

        The value of a win for the Jays is a lot bigger than the value of a win for the Cubs. It at least makes a little more sense for the Jays to do what they did than it would’ve for the cubs.

        Regardless, his Wins can be replaced as long as dollars are spent on the right guys.

    • He’s not even going to be catching the last two years.. i think it’s just a win now with jbats & big e.. i think they ran into the same thing the buccos did last year.. waited to late for plan a, plan b and plan c were no longer available. .

  • Bucs Stop Here
    November 17, 2014 2:23 pm

    The Bucs should receive the Jays 17th pick and I’d feel a lot better. The Jays lose the pick and the Pirates get basically little in return, seems odd if not stupid.

    • Consider that none of the players receiving their qualifying offers accepted them, there is plenty of opportunity for the Pirates to move up in the draft order. The Yankees are hard after Scherzer so consider their 1st round pick gone.

    • Pirates pick currently sits at 21 and is likely to move up by the end of the offseason. So effectively, we will get our 1st round pick to sit at 17-19 area.

  • Forget putting a salary cap on teams MLB – maybe it’s time for a salary cap on player contracts.

    • either the owners get the money or the players get the money.

      as long as we pay the ticket prices that they present (which are still a decent value, IMO), and the money comes in the cash register, then this… whether we like it or not…. is what the players are worth.

      • A voice of free market reason. No one complains how much Oprah or Tom Cruise get paid.

        • Lets not go too far, baseball has a highly restricted labor market, and the sport benefits from Constitutional anti-trust protection.

  • In some ways the Stanton deal is scarier. $325 over 13.
    What this means is any future stud players market just changed. Polanco? All those quick to sign young players probably just stopped and told their agents that they’ll wait for FA. Nutting better strap it on because the bucks are only getting larger. The worst part is that it’s the fans that actually are paying these rediculous sums… players could make 1/2 as much – still be filthier rich than anyone deserves to be, and tickets could be more affordable.

    • Well said!

    • It’s only going to get worse. Overall baseball revenues continue to climb and some % must go to players or the union will balk. That % is around 42%. IMO, it would be beneficial to MLB to increase base salaries for minor leaguers to attract more athletes to the game, but I doubt the MLBPA feels the same way. So it’s either the owners or the players who will get the coming windfalls. Might as well be the players since every owner is already filthy rich.

  • Of course, someone with deep pockets — and money to burn — was going to give him in this market what he wanted! It was only a matter of which one….

  • There is a lot of money to play with now…

    at least we (and the Pirates) can move on. Maybe we’ll start hearing who they’re actually interested in now that the offseason no longer hangs on Martin’s decision

    • Not really true though, Martin made $9.5 million which they gave most of to AJ. Liriano + Volquez made only $11 million combined and DFA’ing Davis saves $3.5 million. Now you figure in all the arbitration raises and you get to $70 million. At most they have $10-20 million to spend.

      • But it is true when you figure they were willing to spend $30 million on Russ plus Liriano with the QOs.

      • plus you’re forgetting that they aren’t paying Wandy and Grilli/Frieri anymore. And you’re discounting the possibility of payroll increasing.

        They settled in around 80 last year, and had offered Burnett like 11 million that he didn’t accept. Plus the TV deal money is going to take a small step up this year.

        I guess it all depends on how cynical of a fan you are.

        I think they’ll try to get payroll up to 90-95 million. You don’t have to agree.

        • so i guess you say 10-20. i’d say 20-30. I guess not a huge difference.

          But you HAVE to assume that they would’ve gotten another pitcher even if they would’ve signed Russ, right?

          so say they were willing to go 15 on Russ. They would need at least 8 mil to get anyone worthwhile in FA to pitch, right?

          I’m now gunning for 28 million or so to be spent on McCarthy and Headley.

        • I’m not being cynical, I am using Tim’s estimate on this website of &5 million right now then subtracting Ike. He already updated all of those. I believe they will look to go near $90 million as well. That means we have at most $20 million to work with, which is plenty to get a #3 SP.

  • You have to go for Lester IMO with the Martin and Liriano dollars. You need a #1 Lefty to pair with Cole and Lester has all the boxes checked with age, talent, and experience. Less than Lester but a fall back is Liriano who I would consider if Lester can not be had.

    You can’t fault the Bucs here for that bank – major layout, but you can reallocate it to the #1 priority which is a stud on the mound – as everyone knows pitching beats hitting.

    • i like lester as well.. isn’t boston looking to sign him though? if they’re wanting him back then I’m doubting our chances

    • Liriano + Martin money isn’t even close to what Lester will cost. Its not so much the annual average value, but rather the long term commitment. Lester will get at minimum 6 years and $150 million. There is no scenario where that can work in the Bucs’ finances.

      • I don’t think so. Liriano + Martin money is enough to sign him today. The Pirates would then trade the contract after two years. But even if they didn’t you’d have to apply a discount rate to the back end dollars for a NPV evaluation today, or thinking alternatively, baseball salaries will continue to rise. $25MM/year for an ace will seem cheap 4 years from now.


    • i think the issue with the $12m for one power bat is that bat generally is 32+ in age and is asking for a 5-6 year contract.. plus $12m isn’t proven power bat territory.. $15m-$20m maybe

    • Giancarlo Stanton could be had for about $330 million over 10-12 years.


  • 1. Martin is being overpaid with this contract, no doubt about it.
    2. Good for him, but Jays will suffer to add pieces around him in yrs. 3-5.
    3. So glad it isnt an NL team and especially the Cubs.
    4. Time to aggressively re-sign Liriano, using this $$. Cole, Liriano, Worley, Burnett and Locke to start 2015 is workable.
    5. Cards got a ton of value for the questionable Shelby Miller, IMHO. Though Heyward is free agent after this year. Not really sure what the Braves are doing, to be honest, as their offense was really, really bad last year. Trading Upton (Justin) and releasing Upton (BJ) were the better moves.

    • Braves were very unlikely to resign Heyward, so they got some value as opposed to none. Miller is questionable but has 4 years of control and has talent. Heyward derives a ton of his value from defense, so its not a “dumb” deal for ATL. They werent going to get great return for a guy in his final contract year, and they got a decent SP for 4 years. STL got a great deal, but if they arent able to re-sign Heyward the will lose a bit longterm. Offensively Heyward has above average ability but hasnt been greatly consistent to this point, he has underwhelmed to his reputation just as Miller has.

      • You have to put this in context that the Cards lost Taveras and need a solid short term solution, plus Miller is probably expendable if StL wants to make Carlos Martinez a permanent rotation member. IMO, smart deal for StL.

        With JHey being another LH bat in an already LH-heavy StL lineup, I think this puts a premium on either re-signing Liriano or getting a decent LHP from somewhere.

        • Smart in the very short term, very dangerous long term. They dont have the ability to re-sign Heyward without a rather large increase in payroll or trading off some talent. Carpenter deal gets expensive in the next 2-4 years, Holliday and Peralta under contract beyond the Heyward FA time and guys like Rosenthal and Adams coming into arb years. They have a hole in the OF, but have expensive guys at SS and LF as well that make it tough for them to simply give Heyward what the market will dictate. Short term its great, but it forces the Cards to make tough decisions after next year.

          • And that’s the advantage of having a $34 ticket price that a million more people are happy to pay vs Bucs $18.21 avg price. Difference in gate last two years is $160 mill more than Pirates. That will cover short-term mistakes.

            Bucs need to keep winning, keep drawing fans and keep increasing ticket prices to close that gap.

  • The trade the Cards just pulled off is likely worse news for the Bucs than losing Martin.

    • I agree

    • Pftt, Ike Davis put up a better ISO in 2014.

    • Who will be the odd man(men) out in the Braves pitching rotation?
      and now they add Shelby Miller.
      I am guessing that Santana will be gone (did not sign his qualifying offer). Is Medlen being moved to the bullpen?

      • Is Medlen even a sure thing for 2015? Two TJs suggest he’s not someone you want to count on. And you forgot Brandon Beachy who should be back.

        I imagine they have no plans for Santana and maybe not Harang.

      • Harang and Santana are gone in free agency and Medlen/Beachey are longshots with their health history. That leaves Teheran, Wood, Minor, Miller for the 1st 4 spots.

    • Heyward – 18 for 66 (.273 AVE, .728 OPS) versus Pittsburgh from 2012-2014.
      He really hit the crap out of the Pirates back in 2010 – 16 for 34, .471 AVE, 1.326 OPS which really drags up his career numbers. Since then he has been above average.

  • Cards just got a lot tougher for 2015 with Heyward in that lineup. NH has to answer in this arms race.

    • Have to resign Liriano and acquire Buchholz as Searage next reclamation project.

      • do they really need 2 SP though?

        • Considering the injury histories of the Pirates starters (Liriano, Morton) and age of Burnett – more is better.

        • I’d like to see a rotation of Cole, Liriano, Volquez, Burnett and Worley. Imagine sending those 5 out there thinking you could win with starting pitching everyday.

        • They could use another LH er to handle the top of the Cardinals order.

    • You can’t be serious with this comment. The pirates have no motivation or inclination to get into any race that requires spending large sums of money.

      • I never said “spending large sums of money”, you did. Try reading comprehension. Its about getting better talent like STL did by trade or smart signing.

        • An arms race, in its original usage, is a competition between two or more parties to have the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation.
          So for your purposes, you meant in sports. Which, for anyone trying to comprehend your meaning, logical meant we must now go get even more than we already needed to compete with STL in the offseason. How does one do that without spending large sums? You chastise us for not reading it well, but maybe you used a phrase that led us to a conclusion you didnt intend because you didnt clarify it well at all.

          • Thanks for the definition. Please point out where it says anything about spending on big money free agents. We absolutely need to get better to compete with STL that just got a lot better in 2015.

      • We get your point for the 2nd time………. The Pirates are cheap……….. Now move on and say something constructive.

      • what would be an acceptable payroll to you?

      • You are NEVER serious with your comments, so why question any one else ?

    • Getting into an arms race, in any context, is stupid. Pirates cant outspend STL and STL only has Heyward for 1 year at this point so overreacting to that move would be what a bad GM does. Go make this team better by getting a quality SP and dont make moves in reaction to STL. STL is going to be tough, but if the offense continues to improve so is PIT with the addition of a Liriano-like pitcher. If Heyward tests FA like he has alluded to in the past, that deal may actually hinder STL longterm.

      • The goal is to win the division. There is more than one way to acquire talent, as the Cards just did. The Bucs absolutely need to upgrade their 2015 roster to keep pace. They lost 5 wins with Martin and still have gaping holes in their rotation. This is not the time to raise a white flag and waste another year of Cutch’s prime. I never in any way said thr Pirates should spend big money, please reread my comment.

        • They need a quality SP, but the idea that they must react beyond what they already planned because of STL making moves is foolish. Following the plans you had and operating with a plan isnt white flag, its intelligent. You put the phrase arms race in your comment, so either you dont understand what that means or think we can get those things cheap. The goal is to win the WS, and not make moves in reaction to others. Go get a SP and fill out the bench and let the season unfold.

          • An off-season with blinders seems to be your approach, but this is competitive sports. If your competitor gets better, then you must also get better or concede ground.

            • So if the Cards go sign Scherzer, we have to respond? Because that would effectively kill this organization if we respond to what STL does and try to one up them.

              • I would eat my Polanco jersey if the Cards outbid the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs for Scherzer.

                • They wont, mainly because it’d really kill their ability to put a solid offense on the field in a few year when guys like Holliday and Peralta hit FA.

              • Well you and I both know that isn’t happening, but if it did, we would have to find a way to improve this team further to compete. Are you really suggesting that you would be happy to watch them get better and NH do nothing? I think you are splitting hairs here. I imagine we agree that the Pirates need to get better than their current roster and we would agree that acting in too short sighted of a manner is a bad idea.

                • This team, and any other of its market size, cannot operate under the philosophy of “our competitors got better so we must alter our plan and upgrade even more”. Because upgrades cost money, and trying to out spend teams like STL in the offseason are what ruin small market teams. Nothing has changed for PIT, we need to upgrade the rotation. Our offense, with the addition of 1 Liriano like pitcher and 1 Masterson like pitcher, makes this team as good as STL.

                  • So we “cannot” upgrade, but we “need” upgrade? We are agreeing completely (add Liriano or BMac and a 2nd useful piece). My original post was we need to acquire more talent to get better in light of our competition. This is the exact course you are suggesting but you continue to split hairs over the reason. How about this, the Pirates as they currently stand need to make additions to win the division and contend for a Championship? If you do not consider the competitition strength, then why improve at all? Every move is dictated by increasing our chances of beating our opponents.

                    • We cannot react to each STL upgrade and automatically match it. We have to upgrade the pitching staff with 1 more quality SP. What we cant do is that, and react to the STL trade. You suggested that we have to acquire more talent now that STL made a move, which implies we have to get even better than we already were planning to do at the start of the offseason. Every move is about filling out team needs, which right now stands at SP, bench depth and the possibility of a trade for a catcher better than Stewart. No move is dictated by what our opponents do in the offseason, but by what this team sees as a need to get better. Right now, this offense could take the field and be better than the offense STL puts on the field.

            • Or, possibly. . You anticipate your rivalry to improve when you set your original plan in motion. .

    • Did you look at Heyward’s numbers last year? He hit like .169 against LHP and had 11 HR.

      • Did you catch the rest of his numbers? Like the ones that go into him being a 5 WAR player? He’s an extremely good player

      • Agreed – a lot of Heyward’s numbers don’t make it look like he will change the balance of power in the division. Not that the Cards needed to change the balance of power or anything. However, you’ve got to think that the Cards will miss Shelby Miller to some extent. If Miller returns to his 2013 numbers and Heyward continues with a sub-.750 OPS, this could result in an overall negative for the Cards. Most of Heyward’s WAR came on defense, but his 2.8 oWAR might leave a bit to be desired. Only just so much impact you can have on a game playing in right field.

    • William Wallace
      November 17, 2014 1:47 pm

      I don’t know- Holliday is a year older, Heyward seems like a rental and really do not see an upside, and Bourgus and Jay are OK as a platoon. Compare this outfield with ours and I’ll take it hands down over theirs. When Tavares was tragically killed they had to make a move.

    • LOL you’ve got to be kidding. I am all into stats from my fantasy baseball league. Heyward is a useless stiff. Too many Ks. Too little production no matter where in the lineup he is placed. The Braves stole Shelby Miler who has shown flashes of Ace material.

      • This isn’t fantasy baseball. I love fantasy baseball though. But defense counts here.

        He was the best defensive RF in the game. Plus Heyward has more seasons of productive fantasy stats than seasons that Miller has looked like an ace.

      • He had 20 steals, he had a WAR of 6.3 last year, won the gold glove(and deserved it) on base percentage of .351, I don’t know what you saw. Plus hes only 25, he could very easily revert back to his power numbers

        • War, rofl?! In our FBBL we use on average 40 outfielders based on production. Heyward wasn’t even good enough for a temporary fill in spot. 11 hrs 67 rbi from 600+ ab isn’t worthy of a starting spot let alone a trade for a worthy pitcher.

  • Would have expected him to join the Dodgers really, but either way I think he ain’t worth that kind of money over that kind of period. Good for him of course and I also like the Blue Jays as a team, at least the Blue Jays should keep the Yankees at bay.
    We now have lost quite a bit of offense, but with the money saved in the catcher position we can upgrade one of our infield positions to counterbalance that.

    Overall I’m not too disappointed losing Martin like that because he clearly was after more money than the Pirates were ever prepared or in a position to pay.
    In my opinion the Pirates have handled this just right so far, important now as I said to spend some of the money saved on Martin (or all of it really) and bring in one or two bats to help with our run production.

    • I can’t wait to see who they bring in to help out the offense. More than likely it will be the 2015 version of Jeromy Burnitz or Raul Mondesi.

      • I can’t tell. is this a Nutting is cheap joke or a joke about bad player acquisition?

        Burnitz actually cost $6 million when the Pirates signed him. There are enough real “Nutting is cheap” arguments to make that saying Burnitz was a cheapness thing is just lazy.

      • I don’t know, the Pirates got 2 HRs, 8 doubles, 11 RBI, and 8 runs scored for $192,000 for 1 month of Mondesi. That’s not a bad deal!!

    • William Wallace
      November 17, 2014 1:07 pm

      Kershaw lobbied not to mess with AJ Ellis — the pitching staff likes him behind the plate.

    • The Dodgers didn’t hire Andrew Friedman to give $80m to 32 yo catchers.

      The only way the Dodgers made sense signing Martin would be if you didn’t pay attention to anything that has happened within their organization over the past year.

      • True, I don’t pay much attention to the Dodgers as I mainly care about the Pirates. But I figured that the Dodgers were the most attractive big market team in the running for his signing.
        Big money plus a decent chance of winning something was probably more likely to achieve in LA rather than Chicago or Toronto.
        Good though that we have people on here with more inside knowledge on the Dodgers to put things right.

    • I’m not terribly concerned with the O next year. 1b had a collective OPS of .689 last year. RF had a .674 OPS last year. I don’t think its a reach to think dropping Pedro and Polanco in there full time would result in at least 100+ ops combined. Jordy should improve the .686 number at short slightly. Biggest offensive concerns I have is what production we get from catcher (was .786 last year, praying we can break 700 this year), and what 2015 J-Hay will be like. Well, that and injuries/bench.

      You could go for a LaRoche at first and bump up the production there by maybe 50 points or so, you can upgrade the bench a little, but unless some magical catcher appears on the trading block, I don’t see much else to upgrade offensively, at least without restructuring a large potion of the roster.

      I think money best spent here will be on 1 more starting pitcher at no more than a 3 year deal, plus some bullpen and bench help, although I’m open to looking at LaRoche.

    • I think the Dodgers are going to reel in spending a little. They are focusing on trying to get rid of long term bad contracts. Why add another.

  • Better in the AL than here indeed–and I agree with jalcorn, a lot of folks said Martin would receive nowhere near McCann dollars. It only takes one GM to lose his mind. Five years (especially if it’s all guaranteed) is too long to go for Russ. Still, all the best to him.

  • And Pirates fans rejoiced that he isnt a Cub. 5 years, yikes.

  • And the Pirates move up a pick in the draft. #22 and climbing!

  • At least it’s well beyond the Pirates means and common sense. 5 years and $82M. You got him. Good luck with your 36-year old $20M catcher in 2019.

    • Yup, and yup. Thanks for the memories Russ.

    • you start you message by taking the high road, and then ruin it with that bitterness towards the end. This is the right move after year 3, but you sound like a sore loser.

      • Not a sore loser. Look at the Yankees. ARod 30 mil. Jeter ~20 mil. 50 mil from two players who have no business in the every day lineup. A new guy with their skill set wouldn’t even have made the team. Yet they have become an anchor that ruined the Yankees chances. Same with the Dodgers and the Angels.

        • Jeter never held the Yankees back at all. Also, he generated more money than he cost. Russell Martin has 0 advertising value, and the Pirates don’t play in a big enough market to gain money back from signing him to a big contract, so those situations are incomparable. Arod would have done the same had he not become the new whipping boy of the steroid era.

          • Jeter’s Wins Above Average was -1.9 this year, and the Yankees missed the playoffs by 4 games. So yeah, he held them back. Although there’s no denying that he was worth the money at the gate.

            • First off, when the Yankees spend 20 million dollars on a good story, it doesn’t handicap them from spending as much money as they want in addition to that 20 mil. Jeter pays for himself in advertising alone, so that money is pretty much a wash. It doesn’t actually COST the Yankees anything to give him 20 mil. Nothing, they get it all back and then some. It also gave their season its only storyline. You can say Jeter was -1.9 WAR, but that doesn’t take into consideration at all, all the players that played harder because it was the swan song of one of the most prolific captains of the most historic team in baseball. The Yankees lost their season by not retaining Cano, and adding a 37 year old player with no chemistry to replace him. The money they spent on Jeter for the last 2-3 years of his career did not handicap them financially, and if you want to make the WAR argument, then letting a guy like Cano, with his 7.6 WAR last year for the Yankees, walk, and replacing him with a 37 year old with one foot in retirement (1.5 WAR), hurt them more than the loss of any money they gave Jeter. That team has unlimited funds, so payout doesn’t really affect their roster moves the way it affects us.

              • Guys playing harder because its somebodies last year. Are you mad? People play their hardest to win games. People play their hardest to make the big bucks. People don’t play their hardest because that old guy who shouldn’t be playing shortstop is retiring. Its a part of baseball, people retire. If you aren’t playing your hardest regardless of situation, someone retiring isn’t going to motivate you, especially through 162 games.

                • If this vacuum you speak of was actually where baseball was played, there would never be such a thing as a rally, or momentum, since everyone is putting forth the same amount of effort all the time. Players would never have slumps or hot streaks either.

                  • Momentum, sure. Momentum over a 162 game season? No. Also, how was that momentum when the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs? Also, one could say rallys are just as much about a pitchers ineffectiveness as “momentum”. Pitcher loses his stuff, rally happens.

          • Jeter was the worst SS defensively with the worst range.

            • That was never the argument. The argument was that the money that the Yankees spent on Jeter last year (12 mil) handicapped them financially and ultimately cost them a playoff spot. That is not true, for all the reasons I stated. The money didn’t handicap them because they made over 12 mil in advertising. They missed the playoffs because they replaced Cano with Brian Roberts, a player that generates the team zero advertising money, and can’t play baseball well.

              • No, the argument was that “Jeter never held the Yankees back at all”. He did hold them back by fielding his position poorly in comparison to other shortstops. This whole “retirement tour” idea for Jeter was clearly designed just to take paying customers on a sentimental journey, but not in any way to make the team better.

              • Also, I’m pretty sure all the retirement tour did was fill the seats of opposing teams stadiums. Yankees sell out regardless, so Jeter doesn’t help that

                • Before the retirement tours of Mariano and Jeter started, the Yankees were having trouble selling out their high-priced premium seats at the new stadium. Unless they can field a serious winner next season, they might be headed back towards seeing empty box seats again.

      • That didn’t sound bitter. Sounded like reality. I hope Russ’s reputation doesn’t end up taking a hit if he underperforms on this contract, although I can’t blame him for taking top dollar. I’m sure if I was ever in a similar position, I’d value the money over any other consideration.

    • Martin is a excellent framer but he has never graded out as the best. If he was consistently 1-2 I would worry he is unreplaceable. But if he returns to his career averages offensively and continues to get beat up he will not earn half the value of that contract. With that being said, 1-2 more real good years ad he could easily help the Jays get into the playoffs at least once.

  • Was a forgone conclusion, but still sad to see it happen.

  • At least it’s not the Cubs… Time to sign more pitchers

    • Seconded. People laughed at me when I suggested he could get McCann money last fall. Teams are far more savvy regarding defensive value these days. Now onto addressing SP.

      • Add me to that list that is thrilled that Toronto ate the 5th year – I always liked them simply because he wants to hear “Oh Canada” before home games, and yes, I was one of those folks who never thought he could get that McCann money. I like defense, but the average of 117 games per year in 2013/2014 made me think he would get less. And the Pirates move up a position in the draft for their 1st pick and the Comp Round pick

        • Forgot to add that Toronto has Dioner Navarro, 30, a switchhitting Catcher with a decent bat and defense, who is slated to make $5 mil this year – can we ask A squared if he wants to move Navarro? Listening to High Heat and Chris Russo is ripping the Martin money and years.

          • lonleylibertarian
            November 17, 2014 6:53 pm

            They will be moving Navarro to DH – that was the plan all along.

            • Lonely I doubt a guy with under a .700 OPS in 854 games is gonna be a DH. He is still a starting catcher on at least an average to below team.

        • I was just now laughing at 17 mil a year for 15 hr and 75 rbi. Now that is funny and why teams like Toronto, NYY, and LAD don’t stand a chance. Too much money for over the hill stiffs.
          Maybe in the PED are one could justify top dollar for a mid 30s player. Not any more. Mid 30s in old again just like it used to be.

    • William Wallace
      November 17, 2014 1:04 pm

      Amen brother. I wish him luck and now let’s get down to business.