There's a lot of news on this Tuesday, with starter Andy Pettitte coming back and closer Mariano Rivera likely signing soon, but in our news story on Rivera we noted that catcher Russell Martin and the Yankees are far apart in contract talks. To me, this may be the most important item of the day.
Martin's initial asking price was four years, just like Mike Napoli, according to sources. In terms of numbers, teams have heard $9 million to $10 million, according to one source. If Martin is able to reel that price tag in, it is unlikely it will be with the Yankees. I would guess the Yankees might do something like three years at an average of $7 million or $8 million. If not, the Yankees might go elsewhere.
Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who will turn 36 in December, is expected to receive multiyear offers from other clubs. He could be a second option for the Yankees.
Still, their first choice is Martin, who will turn 30 in February. Despite his struggles at the plate, he is in a strong position. At least five teams (Yankees, Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox and Pirates) are looking for catchers, and there are only three really good ones. One of them, Napoli, is more of a hitter than a catcher. But if Martin wants to remain a Yankee, he may have to do it for a little less.