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Report: Mets and Athletics among teams to show interest in Russell Martin

Russell Martin

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Russell Martin #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates as he the bases after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Two weeks ago, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that veteran free agent catcher Russell Martin intends to play in 2020, but he has turned down some opportunities in order to address a “family matter.” Not much has changed since then, but the Mets and Athletics are among the teams to have checked in on him, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.

Martin, 37, had the worst season of his career last year with the Dodgers, batting .220/.337/.330 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 249 plate appearances. It marked the fifth consecutive season in which his adjusted OPS declined. The same, unsurprisingly, can be said of his WAR, which peaked at 5.4 in 2014 but came in at 0.7 last season.

Despite his age and declining production, Martin is still solid defensively and teams still very much value having leaders in the clubhouse. One could do a lot worse than bringing in Martin on a one-year deal, especially on a team with a lot of younger players.

As they stand now, the Mets would have Wilson Ramos as the starting catcher with Tomás Nido backing him up. The Athletics have Sean Murphy and Austin Allen.

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