A Look at Russell Martin’s Future
Now that the 2019 season is over for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the future remains uncertain for catcher Russell Martin. After finishing a five year 100 million dollar contract, the 36-year-old will become a free agent. After 14 years in the majors, it’s uncertain what lies ahead for the catcher. In eighty-three games this season, Martin had a slash line of .220/.337.330, hitting six Home Runs and 20 RBIs.
While his numbers are decent for a back-up catcher, he comes at an expensive rate. As a seasoned veteran, there are plenty of things that he can offer to a team looking to win the World Series in 2020. As a back-up catcher, he provides depth and would be trusted to call a good game. One would assume that there are about two years left in his career. If Martin were to be signed to a contract, it would likely be one year six million or a two year 10 million dollar contract.
Los Angeles Dodgers
As he came up through the Los Angeles Dodgers system, it seems like a great match when the Toronto Blue Jays traded him back to Los Angeles in 2019. As Martin worked with Clayton Kershaw when he came up as a rookie, fans were happy to see the battery back together. While the team is looking for a better result in the 2020 postseason, Martin would provide a great leadership role to catcher Austin Barnes who will take a step forward in 2020.
The Milwaukee Brewers could be a great fit for Russell Martin, assuming that free agents Yasmani Grandal or Manny Pina leave Milwaukee in the off-season. If the Brewers wish to get to the World Series, they will need to improve their catching depth. As both the Brewers and Martin are in search of their first World Series, they could help each other in accomplishing their goal.
As Jason Castro is a free agent, it’s arguable that he and Russell Martin have very similar numbers. Frankly, the Minnesota Twins could expect Martin to do the same as Castro did in 2019 (79 games). The reason the Twins might be intrigued by Martin is that he is a former New York Yankees player with plenty of postseason experience. Martin can work with their pitching staff to make them better while providing veteran leadership to a young core.
The Houston Astros are definitely a team that is able to win the World Series every year. With an exciting core, they need to make improvements to their catching position. As both Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado are free agents, Russell Martin is a good replacement. As the Astros are in a win-now mentality, Martin is also desperate to win a World Series while he still can.
Chicago White Sox
This could be the team Martin can go if he expects to play more than two years. The Chicago White Sox have an exciting young core that is a few players away from contending. Martin is great for young pitchers, which is an area the White Sox can use some help with. The White Sox have money to spend, and few free agents come there. It’s a gamble, but Martin could retire knowing he can impact the next generation of young players. As veteran catcher Welington Castillo is a free agent, Martin provides the same caliber of play and leadership to a young White Sox team.
The Atlanta Braves are a great fit for Russell Martin for a number of reasons. The first being that the Braves core is young, competitive and has a good chance of winning the World Series within the next two years. Catcher Brian McCann recently announced his retirement after the 2019 Postseason. Therefore, Martin would be able to fill in that role. Martin would be a great mentor to young starter Mike Soroka after a great rookie year. Not to mention the person who signed Martin to his last contract is the General Manager of the Braves.