Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yankees Get Their Man

Sort of.  Ok, not at all, really.  But they did get someone who could be a rather important piece to their 2011 team. 

The Yankees and Russell Martin have agreed to what is believe to be a one year contract.  Terms of the deals have not been disclosed.  As long as Martin passes the physical (no guarantee), the Yankees would have him controlled for 2012 as an arbitration eligible player.

This is a good move by Brian Cashman and the Yankees.  Martin stabilizes a fairly unstable catching situation in New York.  While I've read a couple of reports questioning Martin's game calling skills, he has a good reputation behind the plate.  Martin's plate discipline and ability to get on base should fit in nicely in the Yankee lineup.  Really, the only problems I can see for Martin are (a) his hip not being fully healed thus making it difficult for him to catch 120-140 games a year, and (b) that his power/slugging ability either plateaus or continues to decline.  If he proves he can neither catch 120-140 games, nor improve his power numbers, Martin could very well see him in the same position next year as he was just recently--non-tendered. 

This move looks pretty solid for the Yankees.  Considering the amount of money likely involved ($5M or less), the move is pretty low risk even if it doesn't work out.  Cashman deserves a lot of credit for identifying an undervalued asset.

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