Russell Martin Will Reject His Qualifying Offer

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Russell Martin will reject his qualifying offer. This news really isn’t a surprise, since pretty much everyone knew Martin was never going to accept the deal. He’s set to receive a huge payday this off-season, getting four or five years, and likely around the same average annual value as the $15.3 M that the qualifying offer would have paid him.

Martin met with the Cubs this week. He is also being pursued by the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and the Pirates are trying to bring him back. Heyman also adds the Seattle Mariners to the list of potential suitors.

The Pirates will get a first round compensation pick in the 2015 draft if Martin signs elsewhere, which seems likely due to the fact that the Dodgers and Cubs both have the ability to spend much more than what the Pirates could spend.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I hadn’t seen the Mariners rumor. It’s highly unlikely, but now I’m hoping Martin signs in Seattle and Huntington performs some magic and gets Mike Zunino, who is a great pitch framer and has some offensive potential — and would cost only $500k.


If the Dodgers or Cubs offer $15M/ year over 4-5 why can’t the Pirates match or come close enough to keep him? In your serious responses, please do not simply resort to the tired “small market” excuse… The Cards are a small market and kick a** every year. Please provide hard data re the Pirates’ inability to pay Russ $15M/year, taking into account the soaring gate, ballpark concession revenues, revenue sharing, etc. The FO may not WANT to pay him $15M/year, but it’s not because we know they can’t. If he moves on, the FO should be judged over the next few years by both Russ’ and his successor’s performance. It’s too convenient and forgiving to simply say the Pirates can’t afford him. It’s a biz decision. Also, remember, the FO likely could have extended him prior the 2014 season at much less than $15M/year, but either didn’t want him then for the long term or thought they could get him “on the cheap” after the season. Now, that they are scrambling to keep him at a higher price, it’s clear that was a blown call.


Not to be too contradictory, but i believe the comparison to the cardinals isn’t necessarily valid.. bucsws provided an analysis demonstrating the gap between gate revenue. . Going so far as to show that the cards are the cheaper of the two in spending.. The pirates historically sacrificed increased ticket prices in hopes to build a fanbase.. now we’re paying..


15M this year or next isn’t the problem. It’s the back end of the contract the Bucco’s can’t afford to have 15M on the DL or declined production. Please do some research before complaining about front office unwilling to spend. They tried to get him to sign 3 year contract at the beginning he would only except 2 years because he wanted to hit FA again at 32. He wants the most money he can get period. He said it when he signed. He left a 200M payroll team to come to a team with 20 years of losing records for a couple of million. He wasn’t signing any extension for any amount. There will be no discount either. He’s after every dollar he can get. As u or i would also


The Pirates could afford to pay Martin one (or maybe two years) at $15MM because it’s sensible to expect that his production in 2014 might equal his production of 2014 with perhaps some offensive regression. That’s why the QO made sense. The trouble comes in the latter years of the contract when it’s sensible to expect that as an aging catcher his production will decline. Then the Pirates will need to play someone else, carrying Martin’s $15MM as dead weight (similar to Wandy last year). The Yankees have the cash flow to be able to carry that burden. The Pirates do not. The numerical details of topic has been fully explored in earlier editions of this blog. The Pirates could carry $90 – $100MM in payroll and remain solvent if they are World Series contenders and are pulling 2.5MM in attendance. Let’s hope that they do that.


I’m sorry, but I’ve yet to see here — or elsewhere — any indication of the Pirates total annual revenue (from all sources) or profit margin. Until I see that, I don’t know why any fan should just assume the team can’t afford anyone. The fact that the team has spent $80M-$90M on payroll has nothing to do with what it can afford to spend. One has nothing to do with the other. The team — and it’s blind proxy fans and sportswriters — can cry small market poor all they want, but the crying doesn’t make it so. Again, if the team decides not to re-sign Russ that’s its biz decision, but if he continues to deliver extraordinary (defensive and offensive) value elsewhere and the Bucs’ new catcher and pitching staff lay an egg, we all should be upset.
After 20 years of misery and just 2 years all-too-brief play-off baseball, Bucs Nation deserves better than “golly gee, we tried” from tr qu


“Also, remember, the FO likely could have extended him prior the 2014 season at much less than $15M/year”
Clay, can you tell us why you think Martin’s position of only signing a 2 year deal with the Bucs (when they wanted him for 3 years) so he could test free agency would have swung 180 degress in just one year, a year when he did pretty well and got himself into the best shape of his life to make that FA jackpot even bigger. All evidence points away from your statement.


Russell is the Pudge Rodriquez of this era. I choked when Detroit sign PRod to a HUGE deal over HUGE years but it was a signing that helped rejuvenate that franchise and Pudge did play well thoughout most of the deal. Rodriquez went to the Tigers at age 32 and played out his four year contract without missing any significant injury time or skill degradation. If Martin does the same, he is a deal at $60/4years. The real question is whether you think he can do that. The Dodgers can afford to be wrong, we can’t.


First commenter! Yes! It pays to have nothing to do in life but creep around the internet. Sometimes you get to be the initial commenter.

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