<
>

Sounds like Russell Martin will be back

Everything Yankee related is a little on hold until GM Brian Cashman's new contract is finalized, but it sure sounds like that if Cashman comes back that he wants Russell Martin to be his catcher.

Martin is eligible to for arbitration or the Yankees can work out a contract with him. He has already said he hopes to return. He hit .237 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs, but it was his defense that stood out for Cashman.

"I thought he was great," Cashman said on the phone the other day. "I thought Russell did a fantastic job. He was a player who obviously became available. There was some risk because of concern with the health. We knew what he was prior to the injury issues so he came along at the right time when we had a time of need. He was fantastic. He handled the staff really well. His committment, dedication and energy level were everything we had heard. I'm a big, big fan of his.

"I thought he was not only a great fighter on the field, but he was someone who was tremendous in our clubhouse and had real strong relationships with our pitchers. He was a good defensive catcher. I'm real proud of everything he did.

"I'm glad he he is here. I have referenced him as a Thurman Munson-type. Everything I've heard about Thurman, he represents."

So will offer him arbitration or a new contract.

"Those are all things for another day," Cashman said. "Obviously, he is under our control as long as we want, at the very least. We'll make all those decisions at the appropriate time. Love him."

The most likely scenario right now would be for Martin to catch and Jesus Montero to be the backup with Montero seeing a lot of time at DH.