Report: The Pittsburgh Pirates Have a New Catcher, Russell Martin Signs With Bucs
By Tom Smith
We told you the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to make a splash for PiratesFest and it appears they have. The Bucs have reached an agreement with catcher Russell Martin pending a physical according to Ken Rosenthal.
It seeems when the Bucs have a target under Clint Hurdle, the deal gets done. The whispers were strong this past week and now it appears the Pirates made it happen. Light a candle, as the free agent signings have been a big struggle for the Pirates current brass.
The terms haven’t been disclosed, but it’s rumored to be two years, $17 million dollars.
The NY Post had it nailed today:
“He could be off the board before they get to him,’’ a person familiar with the situation said of Martin and the Yankees, who made pitching an early off-season priority over catching and right field.. “The Pirates and Rangers have needs at catcher.’’
Martin hit for his lowest average in his career at .211 overall, but hit .242 in the second half. When it mattered the most to the Yankees he hit .277 with seven homers and 17 runs batted in the last 24 games. The power is nice to see, but Forbes to Federal nailed the first negative thought we had which was how would Martin’s power relate to PNC Park:
Add in a ridiculously low BABIP and there could be some smoke here for Martin. The guy can throw out runners, and if he doesn’t continue the “I’m gonna carry this team” mantra that past free agents bring to Pittsburgh, maybe the Bucs can see some value in this signing.
Martin has disappeared in the postseason over his eight series with the Yankees, and it was true this year which is evident with his one bomb and a .161 average.
Batting average means little to us, Martin can hit. Now if he can hit when he arrives in Pittsburgh, that’s the big question. We think he will, but holy shit this is a big dice roll for the budget minded Buccos. In the past, free agent signings have been a bit more moderate.
Now for the next question, will Martin play shortstop in the World Baseball Classic?
Heh, wonder if he can play short for the Buc…..ah, nevermind.
What we really hope this biggest free agent signing in Bucs history does is light a fire under Tony Sanchez. If that happens, this could be one free agent investment that could prove worthwhile. Sanchez’s reaction on Twitter is at least a bit positive and if it’s not bravado, which we don’t think it is, the spark might already be lit.