The Yankees and Russell Martin have agreed to table extension talks until the season ends, agent Matt Colleran confirmed to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. By that point, Martin will be on the brink of free agency and the market for catchers will likely be better-established.
Yadier Molina and the Cardinals are nearing a five-year contract in the $70-75MM range, and the near-deal “gives you something to point to now,” Colleran said. When the Yankees discussed a possible extension with Martin earlier in the offseason, they reportedly offered a three-year deal in the $20MM range. Though Martin figures to sign for less than $14-15MM per season, he will benefit from Molina’s deal (as will Mike Napoli and Miguel Montero).
Martin would like to sign long-term with the Yankees, who were impressed with his performance in 2011. The Yankees are “obsessed” with lowering their payroll below $189MM by 2014 for luxury tax purposes, Sherman writes. He suggests Martin could sign for $40MM over four years next offseason.