A month ago, Ben Nicholson-Smith identified Russell Martin as a non-tendered player who was contributing with a new team. If Martin gets his way, he'll be with that new team in 2012 as well. The backstop told George A. King III of The New York Post that he's interested in staying with the Yankees beyond the season.
"If you are asking me if I want to be here, yes. But they are in a nice position with the quality of kids they have," said Martin, referring to catching prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, both of whom are with the big league team as September call-ups.
Martin is under team control next year, but that's hardly a guarantee he'll return. The Dodgers cut him loose last offseason because of declining production and a hip injury that ended his season in August. With the Yankees, Martin has hit .236/.322/.410 with 17 homers, more than he hit in 2009 and 2010 combined (12). He's also thrown out 35 of 121 attempted basestealers (28.9%).
Martin is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time this winter as a Super Two player. It's tough to predict his 2012 salary because he's coming off the non-tender, but it could exceed $7MM. The consensus is that Montero isn't a catcher long-term, and Romine has played just six games above Double-A, so there's certainly an opening for Martin on the Yankees roster next season.