Canadian catcher Russell Martin could be traded away at some point during the offseason. General manager Ross Atkins addressed the catcher’s trade market in a recent call with reporters.
While Ross Atkins’ recent conference call with reporters mostly centred around the status of the newly acquired Clayton Richard and the freshly signed Matt Shoemaker, he did address the status of one of the roster’s most puzzling names, catcher Russell Martin.
According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, who was among the reporters in on the call with Atkins, the Blue Jays catcher is “interesting to a lot of teams”, with Nicholson-Smith himself adding that “teams continue [to call] the Blue Jays about their veteran players”.
While not exactly an overly detailed tidbit of information, it does offer some insight as to just how wide the market for Martin is. Previously, it had been reported by Jeff Passan (then of Yahoo Sports) that the Blue Jays were, in mid-December, “looking to deal” the veteran catcher, and his rather large contract, which has one year and $20 million remaining.
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Martin, who turns 36 in February, appeared in 90 games in 2018 with the Blue Jays, slashing .194/.338/.325 with 10 home runs, 25 RBI and 82 strikeouts in 289 at-bats. For his career, which has included stints in Los Angeles, New York and Pittsburgh, he’s smashed 185 home runs and carries a career batting average of .249.
With young backstops Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen climbing the organizational ranks with incredible speed, Martin, who has seen his stock fall dramatically since signing with the Blue Jays, could be obselete for this organization going forward. It’s not that the veteran couldn’t still contribute, but with the Blue Jays needing the playing time for Jansen and McGuire, parting ways probably makes the most sense.
Outside of the general manager’s recent comments, there hasn’t been a lot of buzz surrounding the East York, Ontario native. Though it was reported that the Atlanta Braves had interest in acquiring him in September, the rumour mill hasn’t churned out any significant rumours as of late. More to come.