Friday, January 11, 2019

Welcome Back to the Blue, Russell Martin!

This morning we all got a bit of news regarding our open catcher position, and it has nothing to do with the Marlins. Instead, we find out that an old friend will be coming back home. According to Canadian Sportsnet journalist Arash Madani, Russell Martin has been traded to the Dodgers, via twitter:
And now we have official confirmation of this from the Dodgers. Below is from a press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired catcher Russell Martin and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko and minor league infielder Ronny Brito.
Martin, 35, began his big league career as a Dodger in 2006 after being selected by Los Angeles in the 17th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. With the Dodgers, Martin was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 and helped lead the club to three Postseason appearances in his five seasons. The upcoming season will be Martin’s 14th in the Major Leagues and he owns a career slashline of .249/.349/.399 with 185 homers and 751 RBI with the Dodgers (2006-10), Yankees (2011-12), Pirates (2013-14) and Blue Jays (2015-18). 
Overall, Martin’s teams have made the Postseason nine times in 13 years and he has caught 1,519 games (1,455 starts), which ranks third among active players, trailing just Yadier Molina (1,836) and Brian McCann (1,529). He won both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in 2007, and in 2013 and 2014, he was named the Wilson Defensive Catcher of the Year.    
In 2018, Martin made 89 starts behind the plate and at third base for the Blue Jays, slashing .194/.338/.325 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI.
Martin, who is in the last year of his five-year deal with Toronto, is set to make an astounding $20 million this season, so the Blue Jays are expected to cover a large portion of that in this trade. Reporter Ben Nicholson-Smith suggest it could be as much as $16 to $18 million (per his twitter).

Overall, I like this trade. Clearly, management thinks very highly of our catching prospects, so trading for a top-flight player at that position today seems like a waste. After all, why trade a top prospect for a player that is only expected to act as a bridge to Ruiz, Smith and/or Cartaya? Best yet, we've now got a veteran backstop with a background in Dodger Baseball to potentially mentor our young kids. 

BTW, you can follow Russell on twitter here: @russellmartin55. You can also follow him on Instagram here: @russellmartin55, and facebook here: @russellmartin55.

Lastly, there's only one question left to ask in the wake of this trade. When will Russell Martin Sr. be playing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium?

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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