Free agent catcher Russell Martin is considered the best at his position on the market and has drawn interest from a handful of teams.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were one of four teams to be interested in the former Gold Glover and it would have been a return for Martin to Los Angeles. They were expected to have a meeting with Martin and his agent, along with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the 31-year-old Martin had made his decision:
Source: Martin deal with #BlueJays is five years, $82M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 17, 2014
Martin enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2014 and turned that into a huge deal. He hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI, while enjoying an on-base percentage of .402 in 111 games. His production and leadership helped the Pirates reach the postseason for the second straight year after being shut out from October in the 20 seasons before.
Many believed that a homecoming was on its way with Martin and the Dodgers, especially after a rough season by starter A.J. Ellis. While Clayton Kershaw publicly clamored for Ellis to return, the Dodgers could have used another bat like Martin’s in their lineup. The loss of Hanley Ramirez could be a huge blow and the signing of Martin could have offset the loss.
The Dodgers could decide to make a move for a catcher because the free agent market is thin, but it appears that the team will move forward with Ellis.