Russell Martin faces an uncertain future with the Dodgers
Russell Martin has missed 45 games since suffering a season-ending hip injury in early August and so yesterday Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times chatted with the Dodgers catcher about his future. Martin replied “of course” when asked if he wants to remain with the Dodgers, but then responded “I have to discuss that with my agent” when asked if he’d consider inking a 2011 contract before the December 12 deadline to tender arbitration. By doing so Martin could avoid the risk of being non-tendered and the Dodgers could avoid having to give him a raise on his current $5 million salary via the arbitration process. “I don’t like to think ahead too much, you know?” Martin told Hernandez. It’s tough to blame him too much for thinking a discounted, pre-arbitration deal with the Dodgers may not be a great decision, because while Martin’s production has dropped off in recent years and he’s now sidelined by a major injury it’s still difficult to imagine him not getting a multi-year contract as a free agent. Or put another way, while his .249/.350/.330 production since the beginning of 2009 is disappointing and represents a huge dropoff from his 2006-2008 production it’s still above average for a catcher. Obviously the injury complicates his status quite a bit, but Hernandez reports that Martin is expected to avoid surgery and he’s still just 27 years old (albeit 27 years old with a ton of wear and tear).