According to MLB reports, Dodger’s veteran catcher Russell Martin wants to continue playing in 2020. The Dodgers acquired the experienced backstop from the Blue Jay’s via trade last winter. He was finishing off the final season of a five year contract.
Russell Martin, 36, is working out already and plans to return for a 15th season next year. There had been some retirement speculation but he remains hungry. In his 14 seasons he’s played for 10 postseason teams but has yet to play for a World Series winner.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2019
The Dodgers were in need of an experienced catcher after they refused to pay Yasmani Grandal who left for the Brewers in free agency. The club had only rookie and or incompetent catchers on the roster (Will Smith, Barnes) and needed Martin to provide mentorship and clubhouse presence. Anything he provided on offense would be icing on the cake.
While Martin did justify his years of catching experience with solid defense and wisdom, he posted the worst offensive numbers of his career.
Martin batted just .220, hit 6 home runs and drove in only 20 runs in just 249 plate appearances. His 79 OPS+ is the lowest of his mlb career. Honestly he was pretty punchless. Although Austin Barnes was far worse. Martin can still get on base though (.337 obp, 30 walks)
The 2019 highlight of his second stint with the Dodgers came in game 3 of the NLDS against Washington in which he spearheaded the game winning rally. In that game he hit a home run, doubled and drove in 4 runs. On second thought, his highlight may have been his 4 scoreless innings he pitched in relief during garbage time. He may not be able to hit much anymore but he’s still useful to have around and I would not mind if he returned again in a part time/coaching role.