Pittsburgh Pirates Reportedly Agree to Deal with Russell Martin

Mike HoagCorrespondent IINovember 29, 2012

Russell Martin has reportedly agreed to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter):

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

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2012

David Waldstein of the New York Times announced the terms of the deal shortly after the announcement by Rosenthal (via Twitter):

Russell Martin has agreed to a 2-year, $17 million contract with the Pirates, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) November 30, 2012

Martin, 29, was also considering a two-year offer to stay with the Yanks. Other interested parties joined in on the bidding as well.

The Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers both made offers, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The seven-year MLB veteran catcher played with the Los Angeles Dodgers for five seasons and spent the last two years with the New York Yankees.

Last season, Martin was a Gold Glove finalist, but hit just .211 with 21 home runs and 53 RBI for New York.

His 2012 stat line of .211/.311/.403 wasn’t elite, but he is a middle-of-the-road performer at the plate, and a top-tier catcher behind it (.994 fielding percentage).

It's surprising that the deal was only for two years. It was believed that the Yankees were only willing to offer two years and that's why the Pirates had the upper-hand in negotiations.

It’s also not too hard to imagine why the 29-year-old opted to leave the Bronx.

The Yankees melted down in the playoffs last season, and there is uncertainty throughout the organization this offseason.

By going to Pittsburgh, Martin will get a fresh start and have the chance to bolster a team that is certainly on the rise.

Pittsburgh, in turn, gets the best-available catcher, albeit one who underperformed last year, but could return to form and outplay the value of his deal.

The veteran has a career stat line of .260/.352./.399/.751.

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