Pirates, Dodgers, Blue Jays among Martin suitors

As expected, the list of clubs with interest in free agent catcher Russell Martin is substantial. It’s been reported that the Cubs have met with Martin, and the Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays are also expected to do so.

It’s worth noting that Martin played the first five years of his career — from 2006-10 — with the Dodgers, twice being named an All-Star and winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2007. He’s played the last two seasons with the Pirates, and is a Canada native, so all three landing spots would make sense for the 31-year-old.

Martin hit .290 with 11 homers and 67 RBIs for the Pirates last year. Without him, the Bucs are looking at a catching corps of veteran backup Chris Stewart and youngster Tony Sanchez.

A.J. Ellis was the Dodgers’ everyday catcher last year (93 games), but he hit just .191 with three homers and 25 RBIs. Veteran Dioner Navarro caught 139 games for the Jays last year, and had more comparable numbers (.264 average with 12 homers and 69 RBIs) to what Martin could provide . The Jays are set to pay him $5 million next season.

— Joey Nowak

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