Who says you can’t go home again? For the first time since 2010, it appears that Russell Martin will assume the role of starting catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moreover, Arash Madani reports on twitter that the Toronto Blue Jays will be trading Martin to the Dodgers. Details are to follow.
BREAKING: Per MLB sources, the Blue Jays are trading Russell Martin to the LA Dodgers.
More to come…
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) January 11, 2019
Martin enters his age-36 season, coming off a 2018 in which he hit .194 with a .338 on-base average; good for a .663 OPS for Toronto. This included 10 home runs and 25 RBI over 90 games played.
Still, Martin’s name carries weight. A veteran presence – Martin caught 667 games for the Dodgers from 2006 to 2010. Equally important, these were some of his finest campaigns within the big leagues. During that time, Martin had a .361 on-base percentage.
Obviously, Martin’s best years are behind him. However, this gives the Dodgers a second option to pair with Austin Barnes. Overall, this is a solid tandem that should have many Dodgers fans excited. The leadership that Martin offers in the clubhouse should not be overlooked after being a member of postseason teams at every stop after Los Angeles.
We will have more details on what the Dodgers opt to send to Toronto for the four-time All Star backstop. Welcome back to Los Angeles, Russell.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has an update on what the Dodgers sent to Toronto.
Dodgers confirm trade: Martin and cash for right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko and minor league infielder Ronny Brito.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) January 11, 2019
Press Release from the Dodgers
DODGERS ACQUIRE RUSSELL MARTIN
Four-Time All-Star heads back to Los Angeles, where he starred from 2006-10
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired catcher Russell Martin and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko and minor league infielder Ronny Brito.
Martin, 35, began his big league career as a Dodger in 2006 after being selected by Los Angeles in the 17th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. With the Dodgers, Martin was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 and helped lead the club to three Postseason appearances in his five seasons. The upcoming season will be Martin’s 14th in the Major Leagues and he owns a career slashline of .249/.349/.399 with 185 homers and 751 RBI with the Dodgers (2006-10), Yankees (2011-12), Pirates (2013-14) and Blue Jays (2015-18).
Overall, Martin’s teams have made the Postseason nine times in 13 years and he has caught 1,519 games (1,455 starts), which ranks third among active players, trailing just Yadier Molina (1,836) and Brian McCann (1,529). He won both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in 2007, and in 2013 and 2014, he was named the Wilson Defensive Catcher of the Year.
In 2018, Martin made 89 starts behind the plate and at third base for the Blue Jays, slashing .194/.338/.325 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI.
Sopko, 24, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft from Gonzaga and has a career 27-17 minor league record with a 3.61 ERA (158 ER/394.1 IP) and 363 strikeouts against 112 walks over four minor league seasons.
Brito, 19, signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2015 and has a career minor league slashline of .259/.339/.418 with 15 homers and 104 RBIs over three minor league seasons.
The Dodgers currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
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