One of the Texas Rangers' biggest needs this offseason is a catcher. They may need two, in fact, depending on what they decide to do with Geovany Soto. They could offer him arbitration by the end of the month and the catcher could end up making about $5 million or so depending on how negotiations go. But either way, the Rangers need a catcher for 2013.
The Rangers remain interested in Mike Napoli, and he's still interested in Texas. But what if another team -- like the Boston Red Sox, for instance -- outbids Texas for Napoli's services? Our buddy Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com wrote this week that a handful of teams, including the Rangers, have shown interest in Russell Martin.
Martin turns 30 in February and like Napoli is seeking a multi-year deal. The right-handed hitter, also like Napoli, had a down year. He hit .211 with 21 homers and 53 RBIs in 422 at-bats. But Martin's career numbers are similar to those that Napoli has put up (.260 hitter in seven seasons). Martin is known as a solid defender and someone who can manage a pitching staff.
So how has he hit at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington? He's just 2-for-22 in seven games after spending most of his career in the National League (five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers).
Still, in a weak catching market, Martin is likely to get a multi-year deal and would be someone the club would have to consider if Napoli ends up elsewhere.