How much is Russell Martin worth?
[Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara]
If one accepts catcher framing and related metrics as true and accurate measures of (1) catcher defense and (2) the way a catcher affects a pitching staff's performance, Martin is worth a ton on his defense alone. I accept them and so, to me, four years/$36M-$40M is a no-brainer of a bargain when you take into account his patience and power. His average was low this year because his BABIP was ridiculously low - .222 versus .286 career. He's an easy bet to do better next year.
If the concern is that Romine/Sanchez will be ready before Martin's contract is up, the Yankees can always trade Martin. He won't have 10 and 5 rights, and a good catcher on a reasonable contract is always in demand.
If the problem is the Yanks' Austerity: 2014 plan, then they ought to find room to fit Martin in.
I like the Russell. But 4 years, $36, that sounds steep.
 Leaving out framing etc., Martin was worth about 1.5 wins last year. Add in framing etc. and he was worth at least 4 wins for 2012.
On the free agent market, a win is worth between $4.5 and $6M, so all he has to do is be worth 2 wins and he's worth it; more than that is gravy. YMMV of course!
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