Results tagged ‘ Russell Martin ’

Report: Martin to Blue Jays

Cubs fans can cross Russell Martin off their wish list. According to reports Monday, the 31-year-old free agent catcher signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays. The Cubs were viewed as the front runner for Martin, but most likely were not willing to commit that type of deal. No Martin would leave the Cubs with Welington Castillo, who has improved defensively, but struggled offensively this past season. Martin would have provided veteran leadership much needed on the young Cubs.

– Carrie Muskat

Cubs in mix for Martin

Could the Cubs sign free agent catcher Russell Martin? FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal posted on Twitter that executives involved in bidding for Martin feel the Cubs are the “clear front runner.” Rosenthal said they project a deal in the four-year, $64 million range. The Cubs would like to upgrade at catcher after a disappointing offensive season by Welington Castillo. Martin reportedly met with Cubs officials at Wrigley Field earlier this month. Other teams reportedly pursuing Martin include the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Pirates.

The Pirates did extend Martin a qualifying offer, which he declined. The Cubs’ top pick in the June Draft (ninth overall) is protected, and they would have to give up their second-round pick if they did sign Martin.

– Carrie Muskat

The Cubs and Russell Martin

One day after signing free agent manager Joe Maddon, the Cubs are checking the list of free agent players and are reportedly looking at Russell Martin. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman said Tuesday the Cubs are going to target Martin, considered the top catcher available this offseason. Sources also told Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Patrick Mooney that the Cubs have Martin on their radar.

The Pirates extended the $15.3 million qualifying offer to Martin, but he was expected to turn that down. The Pirates want to bring Martin back, and are one of several teams interested in the catcher. The list also is believed to include the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Martin will most likely be looking for a five-year deal, especially after catchers Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero each signed contracts of that length. McCann received $85 million, Molina $75 million and Montero $60 million.

Other players who received the one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer on Monday include Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Melky Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Liriano, Michael Cuddyer and Ervin Santana. The players have until Nov. 10 to make a decision.

The Cubs would not have to give up a first-round Draft pick to sign Martin because of the team’s finish in the bottom 10 among Major League teams but instead it would cost a second-round pick. They also would have the amount slotted for that pick subtracted from the total amount of their Draft signing bonus pool, which governs how much a team can spend to sign picks in the top 10 rounds.

Martin’s slash line last season with the Pirates was .290/.402/.430, and he hit 11 home runs and drove in 67. He did miss time early in the season because of a left hamstring injury.

The Cubs had hoped Welington Castillo could pick up where he left off in the second half of 2013 when he hit .288 but instead batted .237 in 110 games. Castillo did set career-highs in home runs (13) and RBIs (46), but also was sidelined with a rib cage injury.

<em>– Carrie Muskat</em>

Joba is not a starting pitching option for Yankees

NEW YORK — There you have it. You can put that to rest now. Joba Chamberlain will not be returning as a starting pitcher for the Yankees, even though the club has serious questions after the first two spots in its rotation.

“No, Joba’s in the ‘pen,” general manager Brian Cashman assured Thursday.

That day, the Yankees announced the signing of Russell Martin as their new starting catcher, which gives them the flexibility to perhaps use highly rated prospect Jesus Montero as a trade chip to acquire pitching help — something the Yankees’ skipper believes his club needs.

“We need to add another guy to our rotation,” manager Joe Girardi said, “there’s no doubt about it.”

Meanwhile, the Yankees have been linked to a few relievers recently. ESPNNewYork.com reported that they’re making “a little progress” with lefty Pedro Feliciano, and Rafael Soriano’s name has come up a lot (though it seems like a long shot because of his asking price). Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network wrote that the Yankees’ search for lefty relief could also turn them to Brian Fuentes and Arthur Rhodes.

– Alden Gonzalez   

Yankees come to terms with Russell Martin

NEW YORK — The Yankees have agreed to terms on a contract with Russell Martin, multiple sources told MLB.com on Monday. Details of the deal, which is contingent on a physical and will not be made official until Martin does so, were not immediately available.

Martin was said to have been deciding between the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

Martin, 27, was deemed among the best catchers in the National League from 2007-08, when he was a back-to-back All-Star while compiling a .286 batting average, .380 on-base percentage and 32 homers for the Dodgers. But after a down year in 2009, Martin played 97 games in 2010 and then missed the rest of the season with a broken hip.

– Alden Gonzalez

Russell Martin close to a deal with the Yankees?

NEW YORK — While the Yankees await on the decision of one Cliff Lee, they have “continued to be aggressive” on free-agent catcher Russell Martin, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on his Twitter account Monday, adding that it “would not be a surprise if we heard at any time of an agreement” between the two sides. 

Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran, didn’t immediately return a phone call from MLB.com seeking comment.

Non-tendered by the Dodgers, Martin has reportedly garnered the most serious interest from three American League East clubs — the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Of the three, the Red Sox appear to be the least interested.

With the aging Jorge Posada serving mostly as a designated hitter next year, New York is expected to go into the season with Jesus Montero, Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli competing for playing time behind the plate. But general manager Brian Cashman has said he’s open to acquiring outside help. As of now, Montero is deemed by many as the favorite.

Martin, 27, was a back-to-back All-Star and among the National League’s best catchers from 2007-08. But after a down year in 2009, he was limited to 97 games in 2010 because of a broken hip.

– Alden Gonzalez  

Roundup: Reds locking up their players

The Reds haven’t brought in much outside help this offseason, but they’ve still been among the busiest teams in baseball. Their mission is keeping guys in-house. The club had already inked starter Bronson Arroyo to a three-year, $35 million extension. Then, late Thursday night, the club agreed on a six-year, $51 million contract with Jay Bruce, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

Now, they’re apparently turning their attention to Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto.

The Reds have been wanting to sign Votto, the reigning National League MVP, to some sort of extension, but ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick believes it won’t be for the six years that Bruce got. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds have also had preliminary discussions with Cueto about a long-term deal.

Here’s more from around the league on Friday …

* All was quiet on the Cliff Lee front as of Friday afternoon. The Rangers on Thursday presented Lee with a wide array of complex offers, and now, they wait. The Yankees had recently upped their proposal to seven years, but good friend CC Sabathia will give Lee his space, too. Is the ballyhooed left-hander agonizing over his decision right now? C.J. Wilson doesn’t think so. He thinks Lee is deer hunting.

* Young, non-tendered catcher Russell Martin could be close to making his decision. The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays have been reported to have serious interest, with New York taking “an aggressive approach,” ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wrote via Twitter. He is said to be deciding between those three American League East teams.

* The Orioles made potential closer Kevin Gregg a two-year offer worth $8 to $10 million, according to the Baltimore Sun. Gregg seems to be negotiating with several teams right now. The question is whether the O’s would give him a chance to be their ninth-inning man.

* A few signings made today: The Royals got Melky Cabrera to be their center fielder; the Orioles resigned veteran infielder Cesar Izturis; the Brewers picked up catcher Wil Nieves; and the Braves officially signed lefty reliever George Sherrill.

* According to Olney, Jorge Cantu is one of the first basemen “seriously being considered” by the Diamondbacks. Cantu was a solid run-producer in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup the last two-plus years, but struggled while playing sparingly with the Rangers towards the end of the 2010 season.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Martin catching several AL East offers

Russell Martin has received interest from the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays, according to a report Friday in the New York Post.

Agent Matt Colleran named the three American League East teams among those having “serious discussions” about the backstop. The newspaper reported that the Yankees have extended a contract offer to make Martin their starting catcher, according to Colleran. 
The Yankees tried to trade for Martin before he was non-tendered by the Dodgers, dangling Francisco Cervelli, before pulling away due to health concerns. Rookie Jesus Montero is currently envisioned as the Yankees’ starting catcher, with Jorge Posada transitioning to the designated hitter role.
– Bryan Hoch

Roundup: 1B locked up in Windy City

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings saw a couple of slugging first
basemen land in Chicago, as the White Sox resigned
their captain
, Paul Konerko, and the Cubs took
a chance on Carlos Pena
.

The Konerko deal was somewhat surprising, considering talks between the two
sides seemed to be on life support just a day ago. But even after signing Adam
Dunn
, Chicago was able to give Konerko a three-year, $37.5 million to form what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball for 2011.

With the Cubs, Pena is reunited with his old esteemed hitting coach, Rudy
Jaramillo
, and receives what super-agent Scott Boras referred to as
a “pillow contract” — because, as Boras said, it’s comfortable for both
sides. That deal is for one year and $10 million, as Pena will try to rebuild
his worth after hitting 28 homers but batting below .200 in 2010.

Here’s more from around the league on Wednesday …

* No more fooling around for the Yankees. They’re ready to make ballyhooed
free-agent starter Cliff Lee a
preliminary offer
of six years and between $140 and $150 million, MLB.com’s
Bryan Hoch confirmed. Will that be enough, considering reports of mystery teams
offering seven years?

* The Rangers met with Carl Crawford‘s agent, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

* Adrian Beltre is still open to signing with the Athletics, according
to Boras. Boras also said negotiations for his third-base client are moving
quickly, and that the Angels are a very possible suitor.  

* There had been several reports that the Red Sox would be interested in
trading for Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. But Boras, who represents
him, says Beltran plans
to be a Met
in 2011. That’s significant, considering he has a no-trade clause.

* Five teams are seriously pursuing Zack Greinke while another three are
“on the periphery,” according to FOXSports.com. It still seems like
he’d be tough
to move
, however. The Royals are specific with what they want: pitching and
up-the-middle help.

* The Red Sox, according to CBS Sports, are zeroing in on Magglio Ordonez
to fill their outfield void, which would not be good news for Crawford. The Tigers are also checking.

* The Twins continue their
interest
in resigning Carl Pavano, but they have competition. The
Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, have
also met with Pavano
. The Nationals are another club known to have
interest. 

* In less-heralded one-year deals on Wednesday, the Mariners signed
non-tendered designated hitter Jack Cust
; the Royals brought
in outfielder Jeff Francoeur
; the D-backs were reportedly on the verge of signing catcher Henry
Blanco
and veteran lefty Mike Hampton (Minor League deal); the
Braves acquired non-tendered lefty reliever George Sherrill; and the Dodgers were close to bringing back Russell Martin
 

– Alden Gonzalez 

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