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Looks Like Yankees Got A Bargain In Russell Martin

The best off-season pick-up in all of baseball may have been Russell Martin. The Yankees signed the free agent catcher to a one-year, $4 million contract prior to the season. Sure, at the time it may have seemed as though the Yankees were taking a risk/reward chance, but now it appears as though they Yankees got a steal of a deal.

Whether he is now fully healthy for the first time in a while, or he just needed a change of scenary, Martin is red hot as the calendar approaches May. The catcher would have to be in any discussion regarding the Yankees team MVP so far this season.

Martin is second on the Yankees in batting average among players that have at least 40 at-bats, trailing only Alex Rodrguez. Martin is hitting .328 entering today’s matchup against with Chicago White Sox. His six home runs and 16 runs batted in put him in a tie for second on the team in both categories.

Martin has provided the Yankees with offensive and defensive contributions. He has been solid behind the plate as the Yankees every day catcher. Martin’s injury concerns have gone out the window so far as he has been one of the most durable players in baseball this season.

Martin leads all major league catchers in home runs and is tied with Buster Posey for the lead in RBI’s. His batting average leads all catchers with at least 40 at-bats. He has struck out just nine times while working five walks. Martin has also shown the ability to run when needed by stealing two bases.

Aside from his work with the bat, Martin has put in a ton of time with the Yankees pitching staff. Joining a new team as a catcher requires effort. From studying pitchers to learning new signals and tendencies. Martin has aced everything so far. You may even want to go as far as to say he is part of the reason for A.J. Burnett’s improvement. One with Martin’s easy going attitude may help calm Burnett down when he gets in jams that would have previously been the beginning of turmoil.

Martin brings a new energy behind the plate for the Yankees. Similar to what Francisco Cervelli brings, but on an every day basis.

The production of Martin allowed the Yankees to keep stud prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine down in the minors so they can continue to get regular playing time. This will help in the long run.

$4 million for an every day catcher producing these numbers through the first month of the season? Sounds like a bargain to me! This is one deal GM Brian Cashman got right. There is no denying that.

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