Jon Heyman's latest has plenty of Russell Martin rumors:
Pittsburgh, which extended the $15.3 million qualifying offer that he will surely turn down, is said to be quite interested in bringing back Martin to the point of going to unusual lengths for them to try to make it happen. The Pirates, as was reported here, made a multiyear proposal during this his walk season, and while such a late try was a long-shot, it is believed to have been a serious effort on their part. ...
Martin is believed [to be] seeking a five-year deal considering that has been the precedent set for top catchers. Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero all signed five-year deals, for $85 million, $75 million and $60 million, respectively.
The news that Martin hopes for a five-year deal isn't surprising. McCann, Molina and Montero are all very ambitious precedents, and not just because the McCann and Montero deals don't look so hot now -- all three players were younger than Martin currently is when they signed their deals. But hey, maybe Martin is asking for five years but actually hoping to get four.
That the Pirates are going to "unusual lengths" to sign Martin is good, and extending qualifying offers to both Martin and Francisco Liriano was a promising sign that the Bucs might take some risks this offseason. But making a good-faith attempt to acquire talent isn't what wins games. That said, I don't want them signing Martin to a deal that resembles, say, Molina's.