Former Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin has officially decided to hang up his cleats from Major League Baseball and ride off into the sunset of retirement.
Drafted in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Martin’s MLB career spanned 14 seasons with four different ballclubs, the Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays. He hasn’t suited up for a big-league team since 2019 when he became a free agent the following offseason.
Martin was one of the more high-profile signings for the Blue Jays via free agency at the time, as the club inked the East York, Ontario product to a five-year $82 million contract. With the Jays, Martin would craft a .225/.336/.399 slash line through 447 games while adding 66 home runs, 211 RBI, and a .735 OPS. Known for his ability to catch behind the plate and calling a good ball game, Martin finishes his career with a 120 bDRS behind the plate with a .993 fielding percentage and a 30% baserunners caught stealing percentage. Overall, he finishes with 1693 career games while sporting a .746 OPS and 191 home runs.
With the Blue Jays entering a rebuild after the 2016 season, Martin would eventually be traded back to the Dodgers in the 2018/2019 offseason in exchange for SS Ronny Brito and RHP Andrew Sopko, with rookie Danny Jansen entering the 2019 campaign as the clubs’ primary catcher.
Former Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin has officially retired following 14 seasons in the MLB that spanned four different organizations.
Overall, Martin retires with four All-Star appearances (one with the Jays), one Silver Slugger Award, and a Gold Glove award for his work behind the plate.
As per his social media accounts, it appears Martin has entered into the alcoholic beverage industry, launching a line of seltzers under the brand Cruise Hard Seltzer.
While he is no longer suiting up on the diamond, it appears Martin will be kept busy by his off-the-field adventures and we at Jays Journal wish him nothing but the best moving forward in retirement!