Red Sox eyeing Canadian Russell Martin
Catcher could be dealt before Thursday deadline for tendering players contracts
Canadian catcher Russell Martin could be moving closer to home before the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. ET Friday.
The Toronto-born 27-year-old continues to recover from a right hip injury that ended his 2010 season in early August but is unsure of his athletic future with baseball's deadline for tendering players contracts for 2011 looming.
There appear to be three possibilities for Martin, currently under the control of the Los Angeles Dodgers:
- The Dodgers could re-sign him at a minimum of $4.04 million US. Martin earned $5.5 million last season and can't have his salary cut by more than 20 per cent under baseball's collective bargain agreement if they tender him.
- They could trade Martin, with the Boston Red Sox reportedly interested.
- The Dodgers could non-tender him and get nothing in return as Martin would be declared a free agent. According to the Boston Herald, Boston has long admired Martin, despite his statistics declining in each of the past three seasons.
Martin posted a batting average of .248 in 2010, down from .250 the previous season and .280 in 2008. 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.
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 earlier this week he hasn't spoken to the club in about a week and hasn't received a formal offer for his client.
Colleran confirmed to MLBTradeRumors.com that Martin did not suffer any damage, such as a tear, to his hip while stepping awkwardly as he crossed home plate in a game against San Diego on Aug. 3.
"In his last medical visit on Nov. 4, 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.