Victor Martinez will receive a four-year deal for $50 million with the Detroit Tigers, according to Venezuelan reporter Ignacio Serrano of El Nacional, who first reported the agreement.
The Associated Press reported that the deal is pending the results of a physical. Martinez made $7.7 million last season.
The contract is a good one for Detroit, who needs offense. They did not have any player with an OBP over .350.
If he could also catch on a fairly regular basis, his value would be even greater, as his offense is rare for a backstop, but not as great for a DH.
Nevertheless, it was a good move by the Tigers, even if he will be overpaid by the third or fourth year of the deal. Theo Epstein and the Red Sox would like to have re-signed Martinez, but probably weren't willing to guarantee a fourth year.
Meanwhile, this signing reminds us just how valuable and rare a commodity good hitting catchers are in MLB.
Just how rare? Well, take a look at this Top 10 list and see what you think.
Debate is strongly encouraged. There are different ways in which to judge a catcher, and I'm a little old school in that I want my catcher to be defense-first, with a strong throwing arm.
But it is so difficult to objectively measure defense, as even the most sophisticated metrics do a poor job of evaluating catcher defense, so I will focus more on offense. In other words, you will not see any .200 hitting catchers who play good defense on this list.