Dodgers' Martin a non-tender candidate
Canadian catcher could become free agent following Thursday's deadline
Russell Martin sits and waits, recovering from a hairline fracture in his right hip, wondering when and where his baseball career will resume.
By Friday, the 27-year-old catcher could be out of a job if the Los Angeles Dodgers choose not to tender a contract to the East York, Ont., native before Thursday's major league deadline.
Martin, who had his season cut short in early August while stepping awkwardly as he crossed home plate, earned $5.5 million US in 2010.
His salary could top $6 million in salary arbitration should the Dodgers offer him a contract instead of declining and making Martin a free agent.
Baseball's collective bargaining agreement prohibits the Dodgers from cutting the player's contract by more than 20 per cent if they tender him.
Matt Colleran, Martin's agent, has attempted to engage Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti in pre-deadline contract talks, but told the L.A. Times he hasn't spoken to the club in about a week and hasn't received a formal offer for his client.
While a deal would avoid the potentially costly arbitration process, the Dodgers might not want to sign a catcher with dwindling statistics who is coming off a season-ending hip injury.
Over the past three seasons, Martin has seen his average drop from .280 to .250 to .248. He hit a career-best 19 home runs in 2007 but swatted 13, seven and five the next three years. Martin also went from a career-high of 87 runs batted in to a low of 26 in 97 contests in 2010.
Colleran confirmed to MLBTradeRumors.com that Martin did not suffer any damage, such as a tear, to his hip in the incident at home plate.
"In his last medical visit on Nov. 4th, his medical reports confirmed that the fracture was healing quickly, there were no complications to the healing since the injury [and] no surgery was ever performed or needed," said Colleran of Martin.