Blue Jays sign Russell Martin to five-year, $82 million deal
Russell Martin has agreed to a five-year contract with the Blue Jays, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
For the past several weeks the Cubs were viewed as the front-runner for Martin and the Pirates were also making a run at re-signing the 31-year-old catcher, but the Canada native decided instead to head home.
After a great start to his career with the Dodgers he mostly struggled from 2009-2013, never cracking a .750 OPS, but Martin hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games for the Pirates this season to re-establish himself as one of the game’s best catchers.
In addition to the good on-base skills and durability Martin also grades out extremely well in pitch-framing statistics, suggesting his all-around value is generally underrated.
No word yet on the money, but last offseason’s five-year, $85 million deal between Brian McCann and the Yankees seems to be a likely starting point.
UPDATE: Martin will get $82 million for five seasons.