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Yankees, Russell Martin give up on extension talks

Feb 24, 2012, 7:35 PM EDT

Russell Martin Reuters

Apparently the Yankees and Russell Martin have fairly different ideas of what the catcher’s long-term worth is.

Following a round of negotiations this week, GM Brian Cashman said Friday that the two sides have “mutually agreed to wait” on working out an extension beyond 2012.

The 29-year-old Martin will make $7.5 million this season after avoiding arbitration with the Yankees. He signed with the Bombers as a free agent a year ago after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. He didn’t have the service time necessary to become a free agent through normal means after last season, but he will after this year.

CBS’s Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were willing to give Martin a three-year, $20 million deal this winter. That, however, would have amounted to a modest paycut.

Martin stands to join a bumper crop of free agent catchers this winter, with Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli all eligible as well. That might make Martin more amenable to a midseason deal, considering that he probably rates behind the other three players in the group in the eyes of most. Still, there’s no way he’s going to settle for less annually the $7.5 million he’s guaranteed for 2012.

  1. rip4gehrig - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    2013….Goodbye Martin….Hello Napoli

    • yankeesgameday - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Goodbye Martin, welcome back Montero.

      “they tease him a lot, cause they got him on the spot.. welcome back.”

      • crit01 - Feb 25, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        Miguel Montero will be the free agent … not Jesus!

      • yankeesgameday - Feb 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        That us only half right. Jesus montero’s deal in Seattle is only for one year. Read this from the NY POST – he tells them how he has only a one year contract and wants to prove he can catch
        so technically the tanks can lend them montero for a year, keep pineda long term and even bring montero back as a free agent next season if they want.

      • jwbiii - Feb 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

        yankeesgameday, You do realize that Jesus Montero is under the Mariners’ control for at least the next six years, right?

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Anyone remember the TV Series Laugh In? It ended with Rowan say…..”Good Night Martin”

    That’s Cashman saying Good Night to Martin now. Enjoy free agency in 2013, Hello Romine.

    • jwbiii - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      Exactly. The Yankees don’t want to make a long term commitment to Martin because of Romine and Sanchez.

    • jimbo1949 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      Dan Rowan: “Say goodnight, Dick”
      Dick Martin: “Goodnight Dick”

  3. rip4gehrig - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    He should have taken the 3 year 20 mil offer for his sake, but I’m kind of glad he didnt.

    • mightymike1250 - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      I agree. He should have taken the money. The Yankees have so many options at catcher, he was foolish to pass it by.

  4. randygnyc - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    The Yankees have multiple catchers in their system, including their AAAA team in seatle. Makes sense for the Yankees to have the mariners season montero behind the plate. If he turns out to be a real defensive asset, we can always require him. In the meantime, CC is teaching Pineda the change up.

    • crit01 - Feb 25, 2012 at 7:56 AM

      It’s Miguel Montero … not Jesus!

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 25, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        Of course the story is referring to Miguel Montero. Unfortunately, some Yankee fans can be a tad ignorant. Fortunately, the majority do not let their partisan nature cloud their judgement.

      • yankeesgameday - Feb 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        Again read the ny post: Jesus is on a one year deal in Seattle. I knew what I was talking about. Scroll down to half way through where montero himself is quoted as being on a one year deal.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Feb 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Pretty much all players in Montero’s situation are on one-year deals, but it takes six of major league service time to become a free agent. Unless the Mariners release him, Montero won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 season.

      • jwbiii - Feb 25, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        And even that is assuming that the Mariners don’t have him spend a few months in Tacoma to delay his service time.

      • jwbiii - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        To delay his service time and have him spend some time working on his defensive issues with the M’s catching rover John Stearns.

    • protius - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      CC teaching Pineda a change-up. You’re kidding, right?

  5. pisano - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    He has no leverage with all the young Yankee catchers coming up. His best bet is to turn that .238 average into .288+ and hit between 20 to 25 home runs and he’ll get Cashman’s attention and most likely a three year contract that he’ll be happy with.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 25, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      At this time, the young catchers are just “prospects” They may or may not pan out. Waiting until the break to see how they and Martin perform makes sense.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        proudlycanadian – Unless he has a real breakout season if the Yankees are serious about getting to the 2014 luxury tax threshold there is no room for Martin on the Yankees payroll from 2014 on. And even if he has a breakout season I don’t see the Yankees going anymore then 3yrs/$20MM+/- for a catcher. Way to many variables with that position to justify more years or money. That’s just my opinion.

  6. crit01 - Feb 25, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    To all of you bandying about with … “let Seattle season him” , “welcome back Montero” , or “reacquiring him.”

    It’s Miguel Montero, not Jesus!

    • yankeesgameday - Feb 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM


      • crit01 - Feb 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        Sigh, yourself.

        Jesus Montero does not have enough Major League service to become a free agent!

        You were confusing the two and you know it. But, whatever you say!

  7. proudlycanadian - Feb 25, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Over the last 2 off seasons, The Yankees have made several astute baseball moves that did not involve throwing their money around. The signing of Martin prior to last season was one of those astute moves. The team is no longer behaving as The Evil Empire. It is a refreshing change.

  8. Kevin S. - Feb 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Russell Martin is probably better than Austin Romine in 2013-14, but is the difference between them worth the $8-10 million more per season Martin will probably be making? Doubtful. If the Yankees are serious about hitting $189 million in 2014, they don’t have to not throw money at the legit superstars, they have to not spend excess money on marginal upgrades over cost-controlled players.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Feb 25, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I don’t think Romine is ready yet. I wouldn’t mind having Martin for another year or two. Montero would be nice, but if he becomes a FA, he’s going to make a nice chunk of change. The Yanks aren’t going to spend that much money on a position that have some young guys waiting in the wings for- just not going to happen. Need that money to sign Hamels!

  10. randygnyc - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    My original point was that Jesus can get experience on the major league level in seatle for the next year or so. That opportunity didn’t exist for him in NY. Should it all “click” for him and he becomes a must have defensive player, then the mariners will have to trade him back. Anyway, there’s no doubt in the Yankees front office, as well as some of our knowledgeable fans, that seatle still “owes us one” for screwing us on the cliff lee deal. So, yes, IMO the Yankees could easily require montero should we desire.

    • crit01 - Feb 26, 2012 at 6:31 AM

      Oh, please … you can’t be serious.

      Seattle will have to trade him back? Why would that be? Is that a new rule? Oh, wait a minute, I see … Seattle owes the Yankees.

      What a bunch of drivel, you should have left well enough alone.

      You also confused the 2 players and you know it.

    • crit01 - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Now, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. I’ve got a prospect that looks like he’ll hit at the Major League level.

      After a year or so, he becomes a defensive whiz. Now, I HAVE TO trade him back to the Yankees (not any other team, just the Yankess), even when he is under my control for, at least, several more seasons because the Yankees feel I owe them.

      Yea, I can see that playing out just like that.

      • crit01 - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        should have typed , just the Yankees … not Yankess

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