Top 5 catchers in Blue Jays franchise history by WAR

Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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3. Russell Martin 8.3 WAR

When Russell Martin signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Blue Jays, a nation erupted in joy. The transaction and the trade for Josh Donaldson signaled that the franchise was ready to compete after a playoff drought that spanned two decades. 

The veterans brought presence and accountability to the Jays, and the team responded with one of their best seasons ever. Martin’s first season in Toronto was his best in blue as he hit .240 with 23 home runs (tied with J.P Arencibia for the most by a catcher in team history), 77 RBI, and a 3.2 WAR. He also threw out a league-best 44% of runners attempting to steal, the highest mark of his career. 

The Jays were contenders in 2016, and Martin was at the forefront of their success. His numbers slipped a bit, but he still went deep 20 times, drove in over 70 runs, and produced a solid WAR of 2.0. Surprisingly, Martin only threw out 11 of 72 attempted base-stealers, the lowest career rate.

The team started to change the following season, and the competitive window had closed, and injuries limited Martin’s effectiveness and his time on the field. For the first time since 2010, he played in fewer than 100 games. Although he played less, Martin showed more versatility, appearing in ten games at third base. 

2018 was Martin’s last year in Toronto, and it felt like the end of an era. Jose Bautista was already gone, John Gibbons managed his last game in blue, and Donaldson was on his way out. Martin played 21 games at third base, three at shortstop, and even one in leftfield. Gibbons even let him manage the final game of the season.