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Blue Jays to sign Russell Martin

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And the Cardinals and Braves swapped Shelby Miller and Jason Heyward

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to a couple of reports, Toronto has agreed to sign Russell Martin for $82M over five years.  Obviously, the day-old report that the Cubs are the "clear front runner" is no longer operative, which shows just how much these reports are worth.

Without minimizing the loss in talent that this represents to the Pirates, it's at least a good thing that it happened quickly, as it should let them focus their resources on the rotation, which actually represents a larger hole right now than the catcher position (unless you assume that Francisco Cervelli will miss five months of the season, which isn't an unreasonable assumption).  It's also a relief that Martin won't be in the NL Central.

In other news, the Braves have traded Jason Heyward to St. Louis for Shelby Miller, which strikes me as a terrible trade for the Braves and a great one for the Cards, who still have starting pitching to spare.

UPDATE:  The Cards also got setup man Jordan Walden and sent pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta.  Walden is a very good reliever, while Jenkins has a history of shoulder problems and fanned only five batters per nine innings in class A this year, so it looks even more like the Braves got chopped on this deal.