Yankees Avoid Arbitration With Russell Martin

6:37pm: David Waldstein of The New York Times reports (on Twitter) that Martin received $7.5MM with $100K in performance bonuses. In terms of guaranteed money, he settled just below the midpoint of the filing figures.

5:04pm: The Yankees and Russell Martin have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract, the team announced. The Matt Colleran client filed for $8.2MM while the team countered with $7MM, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.

Martin, 28, signed a one-year deal worth $4MM with the Yankees last offseason after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. He hit .237/.324/.408 with 18 homers and eight steals during his first year in pinstripes, and remained under the team's control are an arbitration-eligible player. This is his fourth time up for arbitration as a Super Two, and he's eligible for free agency next winter.

Boone Logan is the Yankees' only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player.

42 Responses to Yankees Avoid Arbitration With Russell Martin Leave a Reply

  1. Biggest signing of the day.

  2. $3513744 3 years ago

    Oh man!  Here they go buying another championship.

  3. Guest 3 years ago

    This is like a shot of tequila after a day of excessive beer drinking.  

  4. I guess hes the only option right?

  5. .237 and Martin doubles his money?  Absolutely crazy.

    • but he was an allstar /sarcasm

    • He wasnt atrocious…..

    • chris hines 3 years ago

      18 HRs and a very fine defensive catcher, yeah totally crazy.

      I love how people have started to completely overlook defense from the catcher position. It blows me away that no one understands how important defense is, especially to this premium up the middle position.

    • Guest 3 years ago

      Whatever the final number is, likely $7.4mm or $7.5mm, that’s pretty good for a guy, that’s actually a good catcher. It’s really a non-event and a solid resigning for the Yankees. If he produces well again, he’ll get a 2 year deal after the season probably for around $18mm. No doubt about it. It works while they are still grooming Romine and eventually, Sanchez. I’ve liked Martin since day 1. 

      • chris hines 3 years ago

        How no one gets this I don’t understand. He’s a catcher who can actually catch, the 18 HRs is a bonus.

        • Guest 3 years ago

          I’ll let the sabermetricians bust out the numbers, but I have to imagine his numbers last season were pretty good in comparison to the league. At least what I can see with my own eyes on the field. He’s only 29 (I mean, come on). He was good in a clutch. His catching skills are fantastic. He’s great at stopping balls and yeah, he has a little power too. 65 RBI’s from the catcher last season! He’s a complete catcher and big deal that he doesn’t hit for average. I love Posada, but paying him $13mm in 2010 (not talking DH season of 11), was a better option over this considering cost?

          • 2001morecowbell2001 3 years ago

            And Martin will get out there and steal a few bags. He’s a steal at what he’s getting paid. The junk that AJ throws 4 feet in front of the plate that Russell stops is insane.

        • Guest 3 years ago

          ..and I wasn’t arguing with you, just making a general point.

    • flickadave 3 years ago

      Don’t forget the intangibles…

    • Yankees420 3 years ago

      His 4MM dollar salary last season was low because of an injury plagued, poor season in 2010.  He was 11th in wOBA and wRC+ and T-9th in WAR among catchers with at least 400 PA.  Nothing crazy about it.

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      psssttt…..18 hrs and 5th in the AL in WAR is pretty good.

  6. ultimate913 3 years ago

    Become a Type A. Decline the arb, leave and let Romine take over. kthxbai.

  7. chris hines 3 years ago

    Romine won’t be as good with the bat or behind the plate. Martin has become criminally underrated by spoiled Yankee fans.

    I’d rather sign Miguel Montero next offseason than let Romine take over as the everyday catcher anyway.

    • Corey Italiano 3 years ago

      What makes you say that? 20 Sept plate appearances? Given his track record, one could argue that Romine could become the same player as Russel Martin.

      • ultimate913 3 years ago

        For 500 K, I’ll take that.

      • chris hines 3 years ago

        No. It would be silly to make any decision based on a sample size that small.

        Martin has a more powerful bat than I think Romine will ever develop. His swing and the numbers he has put up in his minor league career make me think he will be a guy who is always around 10 HRs. His bat will probably always be right below league average.

        Romine’s defense has always been overrated by the fan base. He’s been pegged with plenty of questions about his defense by scouts. He is much better behind the plate than Montero, but for as weak a bat as he has he has never been elite defensively behind the plate. He can continue to improve yes, but as it stand right now he would probably be league average, or slightly below it in that department.

        For what it’s worth in 5 years in the minor leagues Martin posted an .810 OPS, Romine in 5 years a .748.

        • Guest 3 years ago

          Romine not a power hitter. I think we’ve all heard that by now. His frame doesn’t look like it either. However, apparently he is a very good game caller and receiving catcher. Big value in that too. Based on what I saw, the sample size, I think he could be pretty good. I mean the guy cracked the top 100 list for the last two years and even if he is not the next Mike piazza, or even Yadir Molina, he’s still has a lot of potential. I’d rather have a prospect catcher thats looked upon well for his defense over offense. As several writers and baseball people have stated, catcher is a position you need to grow into. There is the mental aspect too, where so many fail at the ML level. Again, while I don’t have precise stats, my belief would be that catchers are the most effective mid/late in their careers. 

        • Corey Italiano 3 years ago

          For what it’s worth in 5 years in the minor leagues Martin posted an .810 OPS, Romine in 5 years a .748.==========
          While worth a lot if we were talking about OBP, but you’re main point is that his power isn’t there….but Romine and Martin have identical career minor league slugging % (.419 to .415) (FWIW even their BA is the same) Martin’s minor league homer high was 15 in 122 games, while Romine’s was 13 in 118 games. Negligible.
          I don’t know how you could say Romines defense is overrated. We just havn’t seen enough of it to know as a fan. I don’t know where you saw a scout talk ill of his D behind the dish, but I’ve always seen glowing reports on him.

          Plus, Romine got his first taste of major league life a whole year earlier than Martin.

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      I think you might be selling Romine short but there’s no way any of us should have a problem with Martin and his salary. He played good defense, called a good game and was solid with the bat, especially in the 1st half of the season.

  8. chris hines 3 years ago

    He was far from atrocious.

  9. dook83 3 years ago

    Martin is a sold all-around catcher and this was a prudent signing, and the one-year commitment only is a bonus.

  10. Should have tried for a 2-3 year deal. Who is going to take over as the starter after next year ?

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      Possibly Romine but I don’t think the Yanks would have a problem signing him again if they wanted to.

  11. JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

    Martin also runs a lot better than traditional catchers, which gives the team more options and mobility on the basepath.

  12. levendis 3 years ago

    hes a nice catcher, very good defensively. Id like to see Romine take over next year though. Martin had two very nice months with the bat (April and august), but besides those months he was mediocre. Romine might not have the pop that Martin has, but he very good defensively. If Romine can be another Joe Girardi like player id take it (maybe a little more pop though).

  13. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    Martin was arguably the most complete Yankee catcher that they’ve had in a while: able to play good defense and wasn’t horrible with the bat. With the Yankees, it’s been either/or, not both. You take Jorgie’s offense and offensive defense, Molina’s defense and no offense or Cervelli’s no offense/no defense/all fist pumping.

    The fact that he’ll be able to work with Kuroda and be a familiar face to him will be invaluable this year.

  14. Guest 3 years ago

    I really don’t think he was over-rating him in that comment. Told it like it is. 

  15. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    You seem to contradict yourself. 

    “Martin’s an above average defensive catcher” and then “he’s pretty good, but not great, he was 78th of a qualifying 114 in last year’s defensive rankings”. Not sure what you’re consulting but Martin was 15th in defense at a 1.6 UZR last year. 

    As for average at the plate….8th in HRS in the mlb, 11th in BB% and top 10 in overall WAR doesn’t scream average.

  16. levendis 3 years ago

    Posada wasnt as good defensively, and didnt call as good of a game.

  17. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    What’s the problem? He acknowledged that Posada had a great bat but Martin was a better defensive catcher.

  18. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    Where did I ever say that Martin is the superior player to Posada? Martin is the better defensive catcher and I think even Jorge would acknowledge that even at his defensive best, Martin is the better defensive catcher. That said, I’d take a prime Jorge over a prime Martin every time.

    I was simply saying that aside from Jorge, the Yankees have had almost no production from the catcher position. Moving forward, at least in the short term, Martin will be a valuable part of the team: he’s relatively young, good offense/defense, and can hold the position down until the younger catchers are ready.

    You’ll forgive me if I was just a little passionate in praising a catcher other than Posada. I’ve had to see the likes of Stinnett, Sal Fasano, John Flaherty, and Wil Nieves.

  19. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    Bad comparisons. Most of those guys signed team friendly deals and their salaries are set (Molina, McCann, etc). Martin’s salary history sort of dictates his path towards this years arbitration numbers. The process is usually pretty set in stone that most players don’t go backwards and Martin already made $5 mil last year. 

    Also, in the arb process it’s not a matter of what the arbitrator thinks your worth. It’s this number A offered by the player vs this number B offered by the team. If the Yanks put in an offer too low then guess what, they go with the other number. 

    I get that he wasn’t a “steal” but don’t think $7.5 was an overpay either. 

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