Toronto Blue Jays Sign Russell Martin


The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly signed C Russell Martin to a 5-year, $82M contract.  The rumour mill was kicked into overdrive in the past hour, as Peter Gammons tweeted the following to MLB on FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.

Russell Martin will join Dalton Pompey and Brett Lawrie on the Blue Jays roster, possibly putting three Canadians in the starting lineup on Opening Day 2015.  Innitial reports hinted that Russell Martin would receive “McCann money” in the deal, and Jon Heyman of CBS was the first to report the contract’s length.  The annual salary works out to just over $16M.  

Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays have been rumoured to be interested in Martin since the beginning of Free Agency, but many had categorized this as a tire-kicking, with the Chicago Cubs favourited to land the Canadian.  This move is a clear sign that the Blue Jays are serious about contending in 2014, as this is the largest Free Agent contract issued by Anthopoulos in his tenure.

Russell Martin enjoyed a career resurgence with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014, hitting .290 / .402 / .430 to go along with 11 home runs and 67 RBI.  Adding Russell Martin gives the Blue Jays the option of DH’ing Dioner Navarro far more frequently, so it will be interesting to see what this means for the future of Josh Thole, as neither Martin or Navarro are experienced with the knuckleball.

This signing could be classified as a surprise, especially given Toronto’s issues at 2B, the outfield and in the bullpen.  Could the Russell Martin signing be somewhat of a luxury, with more funds still remaining to address those positions, or will this be the Jays’ one-and-only big splash?  Something tells me that Alex Anthopoulos is far from finished, but after a busy start to the Hot Stove season, the Toronto Blue Jays have already established themselves as serious players.

Let us know what you think about this deal, especially the numbers attached to the contract, and how you think this impacts the Blue Jays in 2015 and beyond.