MLB Free Agency 2013: Russell Martin, Pirates Agree on 2-Year, $17M Deal

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst INovember 30, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30:  Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees strikes out to end the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on July 30, 2012  in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

******UPDATE (10:07p.m.)**********

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees never even made an offer to Russell Martin this winter.

The Yankees never made an offer to Russell Martin; they haven't made any offers to position players so far this offseason.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 30, 2012

We had heard that Martin was waiting to see what the Yankees would do, but I guess he couldn't wait any longer and pass up on the Pirates offer.


The New York Yankees officially have a vacancy at catcher for 2013.

Their catcher for the last two seasons, Russell Martin, has reportedly signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.


Source: #Pirates reach agreement with Russell Martin, pending physical.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2012


The deal is pending a physical and it's for a two-year deal worth around $17 million, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.

Martin hit just .211 but had 21 home runs and 53 RBI in 133 games for the Yankees last year.

The Yankees had offered him a three-year extension worth around $20 million in the winter, but it was rejected by Martin and his agent, Matt Colleran, thinking he could get more money and potentially more years in a deal.

Martin will join former Yankee teammate A.J. Burnett in Pittsburgh, who was traded there last winter with two years left in his deal from back in February.

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Right now, the Yankees have Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine penciled in as their catchers. Both are nothing more than backup catchers and aren't projected to be starters.

So now Yankees GM Brian Cashman has to figure out a plan for the catcher spot.

Does he turn to a free agent like Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski, or does he pursue a trade elsewhere?

Bleacher Report lead writer Zachary D. Rymer speculated on the Yankees trying to make a trade for Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, although that would be a long shot.

Mauer is due $23 million per season until 2018, which is a huge salary for a catcher on the verge of turning 30. Plus, Mauer has a full no-trade clause, and who knows if he'd even waive it to play for the Yankees.

If any of you had hope in the Yankees trading for Mauer, don't expect it happening anytime soon.

So right now, we all wait and see what Cashman will do as far as filling the catcher spot.

Stay tuned, Yankee Universe.

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