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Russell Martin reportedly wants $75 million-$80 million deal

Justin K. Aller

Russell Martin wants a contract similar to Brian McCann's five-year, $85 million (EDIT: not $75 million) deal with the Yankees, Jeff Blair of reports.

As I reported last week the Blue Jays will take a shot at signing free-agent catcher Russell Martin, who is said by some industry insiders to already be leaning in the Chicago Cubs direction. Martin wants a contract worth between $75-$80 million over five years, similar to or a little more than the deal Brian McCann received from the New York Yankees last winter. An intriguing component might be Martin’s oft-stated desire to move out from behind the plate at some point, and while it challenges the bounds of reality to see him at shortstop, the Blue Jays have enough positions in flux that it might prove to be a bit of a carrot for Martin.

Whew, there's a lot going on there. To take the silliest thing first, it does indeed "challenge the bounds of reality" to see Martin playing shortstop in the big leagues in his mid-30s. That's not going to happen.

As for the more serious stuff, the strange thing about using McCann's contract as a precedent is that it already looks like a bad contract one year in. McCann's deal is a cautionary tale, not a model teams are likely to want to follow. Anyway, that $75 million figure, if it even came from Martin's camp, is likely a starting point for negotiations. At around this time last year, one often-cited report indicated Nelson Cruz wanted $75 million. He ended up with $8 million. While it isn't fun to hear that Martin wants $75 million, or that he's "leaning in the Chicago Cubs direction," we ought to take stuff like this with a grain of salt for now.