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Links: Martin, Polanco, Appel, Sampson

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A few non-draft-related links:

-P- I like David Todd's idea of pursuing an extension with Russell Martin. Catchers in their thirties are scary, and there would be some bust potential with a Martin extension, but we've seen pretty clearly both this year and last how important he is to the Pirates' success. I'm not sure I'd do it now -- there's still more time to wait to see how Tony Sanchez does this year. Based on what we've seen so far, though, he doesn't profile as a first-division starter.

-P- Mike Petriello writes that Gregory Polanco's absence hasn't been the Pirates' real problem this year. Instead, it's been their pitching. A.J. Burnett is gone, of course, and many of the other key parts (Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Mark Melancon) have been worse -- not always much worse, but enough that it makes a big difference cumulatively. Then, of course, there was Wandy Rodriguez, whose struggles with the Pirates fortunately are behind us.

-P- I thought this tweet about Mark Appel was funny.

-P- Here's a nice feature about Adrian Sampson on