The New York Yankees and catcher Russell Martin are in talks for a new three-year contract.
Martin was an All-Star in 2011 and the 29-year-old hit .237 with 18 home runs. He had a solid season, especially behind the dish, but not enough to earn three more years in pinstripes. The major reason not to add three more years of Russell Martin, is the Yankees’ three top catching prospects in the minors.
The Yankees currently have top catching prospects in Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy. Romine is the closest to the majors and struggled in his limited time at the majors in 2011.
Sanchez is the prospect with the most upside, and the 19-year-old is seen as the future of the Yankees backstop. J.R. Murphy is the one who will most likely have to change positions if he ever wants to be a major contributor in the bigs.
After the Yankees announced Jorge Posada’s move to DH in 2011, they brought in former Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, and he earned his money. Martin was on a one-year, $4 million contract and went above his contract in his first year. But, did he do enough to earn three more years?
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN, the Yankees have been in talks with Russell for a contract of three years and $20 million, but Martin wants more.
Russell Martin clearly wants to be a Yankee, and he works well with the pitching staff. Although hitting is not the top priority for catcher, the Yankees always expect production out of their hitters. Martin hasn’t been a consistent hitter since his 2008 campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Three more years is not ideal for the Yankees. Signing Martin to another one-year contract with an option for a second year would be the most ideal situation for the Yankees. With the Yankees having three top catching prospects, three more years of Martin is not smart.
No matter what happens to Martin’s future as a Yankee, they need him to have another All-Star year and be a more consistent hitter.