Catcher Victor Martinez Signs Four-Year Deal with Detroit Tigers

James Stewart-Meudt@@JSMeudtCorrespondent IINovember 23, 2010

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Victor Martinez #41 of the Boston Red Sox throws the ball away for an error on Brett Gardner (not shown) of the New York Yankees bunt attempt in the 10th inning on September 26, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees won 4-3.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Free agent catcher Victor Martinez has become another name on the dotted line for the quickly revamping Detroit Tigers. According to reports, the Tigers have signed the switch-hitting Martinez for a four-year deal worth $50 million.

Last season for the Boston Red Sox, Martinez hit .303 with 20 home runs and 79 RBI, the only catcher to hit .300 or more with 20 home runs last season.

The signing of Martinez continues a busy offseason for Detroit. The Tigers re-signed third baseman Brandon Inge and shortstop Johnny Peralta to two-year deals and added reliever Joaquin Benoit. Last season, the Tigers finished 81-81, good for third place in the AL Central. With the offseason far from over, the Tigers are quickly becoming a favorite to win their division next season.

Martinez should bolster the catcher position in a big way offensively, something Detroit saw very little of last season. Rookie Alex Avila, 23, batted just .228 in 104 games, while 30-year-old Gerald Laird batted a measly .207 in 89 games.

The Tigers beat out teams like the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox for Martinez's services. The Red Sox reportedly offered Martinez his choice of either a three-year deal worth $36 million or a four-year deal for $42 million.

Martinez is a lifetime .300 hitter and a four-time All Star. Last season, he dominated left-handed pitching, batting .400 and hitting 12 of his 20 homers.

The deal is pending the results of a physical.