Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates, along with the Mariners and Rangers, are interested in catcher Russell Martin. The Yankees are "still the favorites" to get him, however, despite some luxury-tax issues.
As free-agent catchers go, the Pirates could do a lot worse than Martin. He has good power and is an asset with the bat. One must be concerned about giving a multi-year deal to a player whose average has fallen off the table the way Martin's has -- he hit .280 or better in his first three seasons with in the bigs, but last year his average was all the way down to .211. But unlike Rod Barajas, who also had good power and low averages, Martin isn't old -- he'll be 30 in February. His defense is fairly well-regarded, also. It all depends on the price, but acquiring Martin might well make sense. The question is whether a player who's drawing interest from the Yankees and Rangers would want to leave New York behind for Pittsburgh.