As we’ve talked about earlier this off-season, the Blue Jays would be willing to eat money in order to move Russell Martin. The veteran catcher is in the final year of that five-year contract he signed back prior to the 2015 season.
One of the teams we’d kind of expected to be in on acquiring Martin was the Atlanta Braves. They’re a young team with a young pitching staff who could probably use another veteran behind the plate along with Tyler Flowers. There’s also the obvious Alex Anthopolous connection with Atlanta and they have a boat load of money to work with.
You can cross Atlanta off that list now as they’ve signed free agent catcher Brian McCann. McCann, of course, played most of his career with the Braves before signing a free agent deal with the Yankees back before the 2014 season. He spent three years with the Yanks before getting dealt in a salary dump deal to Houston, where he’d spend two seasons and earn a World Series ring.
Atlanta was where I figured Martin would end up, but that’s obviously not happening now. The Astros still need a catcher, so that could be a fit, as do the Mets, who were the original topic of conversation back when Joel Sherman reported the Jays would move Martin with salary retained.
The logic, it seems, behind moving Martin is to open up playing time for Danny Jansen. Martin became a super-utility player last year when Jansen and Reese McGuire joining the roster and Luke Maile breaking out as a very capable backup.
I would imagine Toronto wants to have Jansen and Maile on the big league team with McGuire pushing for a spot in Triple-A. Personally, I think Martin is a great leader to have around, so I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to deal him just to get whatever random C prospect back in a trade.