Russell Martin rumors: Pirates reportedly offer in excess of $22 million

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Pirates could be the frontrunners to sign catcher Russell Martin, and have offered the free agent catcher most recently with the New York Yankees a three-year, $22 million contract.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might be in the lead to land catcher Russell Martin after offering the three-time all-star a three-year, $22 million contract.

Martin has spent the last two seasons with the New York Yankees, hitting a career-high 21 home runs this past season. And although he only hit .211 this past season, even that would be an improvement on Pirates catcher Rod Barajas, who started 104 games for the Bucs this year. The Pirates initial offer to Martin was for two years, but they've upped the offer to three in hopes of landing the veteran backstop.

It would seem to pretty much be a first for Pittsburgh to outspend the Yankees, but New York has made it clear this offseason that they aren't interested in offering long-term contracts to players. With no other catchers in their organization, they were hoping to retain Martin, and may have to break that mantra in order to convince Martin to stay. The Texas Rangers are also interested in signing Martin.

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