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 Post subject: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:28 am 
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It is time to get a deal done to bring him back to Pittsburgh for the next couple of years.
He is great with the pitchers and brings alot to this team.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:14 am 
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I'd offer him three years and $36 million right now. I'd increas it to $40M at most, but Martin may be worth even more than that.

One thing's for sure, the Pirates MUST extend him a qualifying offer if he isn't signed before November...


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:52 am 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
I'd offer him three years and $36 million right now. I'd increas it to $40M at most, but Martin may be worth even more than that.

One thing's for sure, the Pirates MUST extend him a qualifying offer if he isn't signed before November...


I agree they need to offer him the QO. But I would be very hesitant to give him a 3 year deal. I think it is very likely a 3rd year for Martin would end up being a sunk cost with little production.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:05 am 
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I'd be fine with a 3 year deal. His playing time will probably have to decrease but I expect him to be a productive player for at least that long. He's more athletic than the average catcher.

I really doubt that Neil is focusing on something like that right now. I expect that to be addressed in the offseason.

And definitely make the QO, which will somewhat decrease Martin's market value, and give us comensation if he goes elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:38 am 
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mjdouble wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
I'd offer him three years and $36 million right now. I'd increas it to $40M at most, but Martin may be worth even more than that.

One thing's for sure, the Pirates MUST extend him a qualifying offer if he isn't signed before November...


I agree they need to offer him the QO. But I would be very hesitant to give him a 3 year deal. I think it is very likely a 3rd year for Martin would end up being a sunk cost with little production.



It could but I think they could handle it and if they need to add it to keep him, I'd do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:52 am 
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I just told a friend a few days ago that I think Russell Martin might be Huntington's best acquisition. He's been such a HUGE difference maker. His work with the pitchers, his defense, his clutch hitting in the wildcard game and on and on.

He's the kind of veteran every good team HAS to have. He's a leader.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:27 pm 
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I really believe Russell Martin has been a HUGE reason why this Pirate team has been successful for all of the reasons cited in VanSlick's post. NH must do everything to resign him for next year and beyond.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Yep, he's been extremely valuable, second only to Cutch on this team. And his time here has been good for his career.

He seems to enjoy being here. He plays for a contending team in a beautiful ball park where attendance is healthy and on the rise, for a team that can afford to pay him market value.

No reason this relationship shouldn't continue.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:33 pm 
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I don't have a problem giving him three years because he could be relegated to a backup role behind Sanchez the third year if his skills fall off.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:41 pm 
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Agreed. His defensive skills and OBP success will not be replaced. I realize that the Pirates have a "budget" but they can afford to give Martin something in the $13 million per season range, with Volquez, Liriano, Barmes, and Rodriguez off the payroll at a savings of $18 million.

Further, Martin provides a great deal of value beyond the numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:06 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
I don't have a problem giving him three years because he could be relegated to a backup role behind Sanchez the third year if his skills fall off.


I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Sanchez is going to come close to having the kind of career that Martin is having.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:53 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
I don't have a problem giving him three years because he could be relegated to a backup role behind Sanchez the third year if his skills fall off.


I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Sanchez is going to come close to having the kind of career that Martin is having.

He doesn't have to. He only has to be better than Martin is going to be from next year on, and it's fairly likely that Martin is only going to get worse with each year, maybe a lot worse.

Catching is a tough job. Martin has caught 1,072 games in his career. That doesn't sound like a huge amount, but it is for catchers. He's already in the top 100 for career games caught, and he'll be in the top 90 by the end of the season. Think about that for a second. Martin is only 31 years old, but only 95 guys have managed to catch more games in the entire history of baseball. He's at the point where catchers often go from being fine everyday guys to backups or worse. Or, even if they maintain their effectiveness, nagging injuries start to really eat into their playing time. Committing a large amount of money over multiple years for such a catcher is a very dangerous move.

In Martin's favor, he's a very athletic guy for a 31 year old catcher, much more so than a typical backstop. That's definitely to his advantage. He's quick, and a decent runner. A lot of catchers start out slow, and when they get even slower in their 30's, they can reach a point where they become a liability. Think Rod Barajas, who was a pretty good catcher in his younger days. Martin is not that type of catcher. So signing him for three years might work out okay. It's a tough call, one that I'm glad I don't have to make.

So I'm not saying that it would be a bad signing, I'm just saying that it's nowhere near the no-brainer that a lot of you guys are making it out to be. It's a risk, maybe a big risk; you're going to be paying a catcher coming off or what is by many measures his career year an amount that will force him to repeat that year into his mid-thirties while catching. What are the chances that's going to happen? Not very good, in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:08 pm 
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Sisy, it's been pointed out (by Martin himself I think), that he didn't start catching until he began his pro baseball career with the Dodgers? That saved him countless games of wear and tear on his knees and body. Plus (like you and others have said) he is a very athletic guy. Also (and maybe that's what I'm remembering Martin to have said) he is a shorter guy which works to his advantage versus taller catchers as it relates to knee problems and such.

Even if his physical abilities begin to decline (which I'm sure they will at some point) Russell could move to being the backup catcher allowing Tony Sanchez to become the main catcher.

I really feel keeping Russell as a Pirate is very, very important to the team.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:05 pm 
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The value he brings to a team that is going to be a contender for years to come(wow, did I just type that!) is huge. If all it would take to keep him is a third year, that IS a no brainer. If you find a competent back up, you can give him a few more days off throughout the year. Also, even if by the third year he drops off to the point of becoming a back up it shouldn't be the end of the world. To me, it is a win/win. Every contract you sign is a risk. Anybody can get hurt, although catchers in their 30's are at higher risk. And as many have already said, he is a a better athlete than most catchers. One other point is that it seems more and more evident that the club doesn't have much confidence in Sanchez being their catcher of the future. 2-3 more years of Martin would bridge the gap to McGuire. I know a small market team can't absorb a bad year of a contract like other teams can, but at some point you have to take a risk. Everyone knows the value he brings. This isn't a 90 loss team...it's a contender. They have signed some team friendly contracts, which was smart. Contenders sometimes have to take a chance on a contract to keep a valued asset.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:02 pm 
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bassoondirector wrote:
Sisy, it's been pointed out (by Martin himself I think), that he didn't start catching until he began his pro baseball career with the Dodgers? That saved him countless games of wear and tear on his knees and body. Plus (like you and others have said) he is a very athletic guy. Also (and maybe that's what I'm remembering Martin to have said) he is a shorter guy which works to his advantage versus taller catchers as it relates to knee problems and such.

Even if his physical abilities begin to decline (which I'm sure they will at some point) Russell could move to being the backup catcher allowing Tony Sanchez to become the main catcher.

I really feel keeping Russell as a Pirate is very, very important to the team.

Until you start a pro career there isn't a ton of wear and tear, because you are playing a fraction of the games that a major league team does.

Height has no correlation with knee troubles that I'm aware of. For catchers, it's all about the squatting.

If the resign Martin for the kind of numbers that are being bandied about here, which I think are underestimating what he'll be offered, but he can only serve as a backup, that's just an enormous loss for the Pirates.

I agree that they'll really miss Martin when he goes. Problem is, they could resign him, but still lose him anyway through injury or decline. It's a tough, tough call, and I just don't know what I'd do in Huntington's place.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:07 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
The value he brings to a team that is going to be a contender for years to come(wow, did I just type that!) is huge. If all it would take to keep him is a third year, that IS a no brainer. If you find a competent back up, you can give him a few more days off throughout the year. Also, even if by the third year he drops off to the point of becoming a back up it shouldn't be the end of the world. To me, it is a win/win. Every contract you sign is a risk. Anybody can get hurt, although catchers in their 30's are at higher risk. And as many have already said, he is a a better athlete than most catchers. One other point is that it seems more and more evident that the club doesn't have much confidence in Sanchez being their catcher of the future. 2-3 more years of Martin would bridge the gap to McGuire. I know a small market team can't absorb a bad year of a contract like other teams can, but at some point you have to take a risk. Everyone knows the value he brings. This isn't a 90 loss team...it's a contender. They have signed some team friendly contracts, which was smart. Contenders sometimes have to take a chance on a contract to keep a valued asset.


Indeed.

We're not talking about a crazy 7-year deal here. It's likely that Martin could be had on a 3-year deal for $40 million or less. That's the kind of deal that makes sense for the Pirates, even if Martin's abilities erode. I think it's reasonable to project that Martin could catch between 110-130 games next season, maybe 100-120 in 2016 and 60-80 in 2017. He's worth it even at the low end of those projections.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:18 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
The value he brings to a team that is going to be a contender for years to come(wow, did I just type that!) is huge. If all it would take to keep him is a third year, that IS a no brainer. If you find a competent back up, you can give him a few more days off throughout the year. Also, even if by the third year he drops off to the point of becoming a back up it shouldn't be the end of the world. To me, it is a win/win. Every contract you sign is a risk. Anybody can get hurt, although catchers in their 30's are at higher risk. And as many have already said, he is a a better athlete than most catchers. One other point is that it seems more and more evident that the club doesn't have much confidence in Sanchez being their catcher of the future. 2-3 more years of Martin would bridge the gap to McGuire. I know a small market team can't absorb a bad year of a contract like other teams can, but at some point you have to take a risk. Everyone knows the value he brings. This isn't a 90 loss team...it's a contender. They have signed some team friendly contracts, which was smart. Contenders sometimes have to take a chance on a contract to keep a valued asset.


Indeed.

We're not talking about a crazy 7-year deal here. It's likely that Martin could be had on a 3-year deal for $40 million or less. That's the kind of deal that makes sense for the Pirates, even if Martin's abilities erode. I think it's reasonable to project that Martin could catch between 110-130 games next season, maybe 100-120 in 2016 and 60-80 in 2017. He's worth it even at the low end of those projections.

I think that he's going to be offered more than three years for at least $15M per, and even at your rates he'd have to average at least 130 games a year over the length of the deal to be worth the money.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:14 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I think that he's going to be offered more than three years for at least $15M per, and even at your rates he'd have to average at least 130 games a year over the length of the deal to be worth the money.


Brian McCann, a far superior offensive player with decent defensive skills, only received $17M per annum from the friggin' Yankees. Plus, that deal isn't looking so hot. I don't think Martin will be getting 4+ years at $15M per annum, and I seriously doubt he gets anything CLOSE to that once the Pirates slap a qualifying offer on him. The QO would depress his value on the open market and make him more likely to stay.

Accordingly, a 3-year, $40 million deal would make sense for both sides. And even if Martin isn't technically "worth" that deal in the third year (by WAR or whatever), he likely makes up for that in 2015 and 2016. Remember, we can't even adequately value his pitch-framing skills. If he catches 130 games in 2015, 100 games in 2016, and 80 games in 2017 on that contract, that would be A-OK by me (and likely by the Pirates as well).


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:03 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I think that he's going to be offered more than three years for at least $15M per, and even at your rates he'd have to average at least 130 games a year over the length of the deal to be worth the money.


Brian McCann, a far superior offensive player with decent defensive skills, only received $17M per annum from the friggin' Yankees. Plus, that deal isn't looking so hot. I don't think Martin will be getting 4+ years at $15M per annum, and I seriously doubt he gets anything CLOSE to that once the Pirates slap a qualifying offer on him. The QO would depress his value on the open market and make him more likely to stay.

Accordingly, a 3-year, $40 million deal would make sense for both sides. And even if Martin isn't technically "worth" that deal in the third year (by WAR or whatever), he likely makes up for that in 2015 and 2016. Remember, we can't even adequately value his pitch-framing skills. If he catches 130 games in 2015, 100 games in 2016, and 80 games in 2017 on that contract, that would be A-OK by me (and likely by the Pirates as well).

McCann is a perfect example of the dangers of lucrative long term contracts for veteran catchers. I think that somebody will be willing to guarantee Martin three years with a buyout for the fourth, and I think that the dollars per year will average over $14M. But that's really beside the point. To me the question is whether he'll even be worth the 3 for $40M that you're talking about. And if you think that the Pirates would be happy to pay $13M for half of a catcher (your year three number), you haven't been paying attention to the way that they do business. I think they'll try to resign him. I think that they'll fail, and resort to a qualifying offer, and I think that he'll sign elsewhere, because it's not about what makes sense for both sides, it's about how far one team will be willing to go. So everybody had better start praying that Sanchez puts his Steve Sax problems behind him, because he's going to get the majority of time behind the plate for the next two or three years when Martin goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:24 pm 
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If the Red Sox and Rangers finish with one of the bottom 10 records, even if the Pirates put the QO on Martin it won't suppress his value that much. Both of those teams will be in the market for a catcher and they won't have to surrender a 1st round pick to sign him.


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