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BREAKING: Per MLB sources, the Blue Jays are trading Russell Martin to the LA Dodgers.
More to come…
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) January 11, 2019
(UPDATE) apparently it’s Ronny Brito and Andrew Sopko going back to Toronto in the deal.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 11, 2019
So we now have our answer as to who will pair with Austin Barnes behind the dish in 2019 and it’s not good folks. Martin is due to earn 20 million dollars in the final year of his contract this season. He’s here for one year guys and then probably off to free agency again or retirement. That 20 million could have resigned Yasmani Grandal, but hey Andrew Friedman you know.
Looking at Martin we can fondly remember him making his MLB debut for the Dodgers way back in 2006. During that time George W. Bush was still president and the Dodgers were owned by slimy Frank McCourt. Clayton Kershaw hadn’t been drafted yet I believe and Matt Kemp was also a fresh faced rookie. It was a long time ago.
Martin’s tenure ended with the Dodgers back in 2010 when he oddly injured his hip while running the bases. If I remember correctly he broke or tore it and was out for the remainder of the season. That winter the Dodgers did not tender him a contract and he left for Pittsburgh, never to be seen or heard from again.
Well the problem is Martin is 35-years old and hasn’t had an above average season at the plate since 2015. In 2018 for the Toronto Blue Jays he batted a paltry .194 while hitting 10 home runs and getting on base at a .338 clip. I guess he can still do that, get on base, but anything else has gone long ago. I still vividly remember former Dodgers manager Joe Torre trying him at third base and it was a total disaster. He does have 50 career games there as well as 4 at second base and 3 at shortstop. He’s also played a few games in the outfield too. Good times.
I hate having to say I told you so to anyone here, but you know….I know how Friedman works by now and can see his moves coming a mile away. I was correct on all fronts here with this Dodgers catching situation. I predicted the Dodgers would not be resigning Yasmani Grandal and they didn’t. I predicted they would not be trading for JT Realmuto and they haven’t. I also predicted that any catcher they acquired would be a sub-mendoza line hitter. Martin will fit in with the other .190 hitting catcher Austin Barnes. Now the Dodgers have two Mendoza line hitting catchers. Happy Days!
The Dodgers painted themselves into a corner here. They were desperate for a catcher and the Blue Jays, a rebuilding club sensed this. The Jays wanted to dump salary (something the Dodgers are familiar with) and the Dodgers just needed someone, anyone with a pulse to catch. I mean I like Martin, always have but man this is brutal. Welcome back to Los Angeles Russ!