Friday, November 23, 2012


I love the guts of Russell Martin, but the bat he brought the Yankees in 2012 is something I'd like to leave behind.  Martin has the talent and trust of the Yankees pitching and us fans and that means alot for a catcher trying to help lead his team to a World Series.  If your pitchers trust you, your team can accomplish anything. Of course... your team needs to hit and score runs too... but that's another post for another time.

The bottom line, Russell Martin came off a terrible season at the plate and when that happens, teams don't exactly knock down your door. Enter the New York Yankees, who, while they love Martin's "Munson-like" ability at the plate, they have to be curious that something else is out there, like Mike Napoli perhaps.
Now, I'm going to tell you, Napoli and Russell Martin are interchangeable to me personally, but there are a few factors, as a fan, that you need to think about.  For 1, Martin has been a good Yankee for us and while he hugged the Mario Mendoza batting average all season, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest Martin just had a bad year, nothing more.  If he can hit .250 and smack 18 homers a season as a catcher and still have those great instincts behind the plate, I'll take you as my catcher for the rest of your career. Besides, with the Yankees offense, that's really all our catcher needs to do.  But the issue is, the Yankees aren't sure he can do that, even though they think he can. That's why they haven't wrapped up a contract with him yet...that's my take at least.   Trust me, the Yanks will negotiate tough to get what they want out of the Martin deal as well as giving Martin what he wants, meaning, their terms based on his performance at the plate, because there is no doubt his bat is the biggest issue.
Mike Napoli is a career .259 hitter. He's got great instincts like Martin behind the plate and more power than Martin.  The other major factor, and one the Yankees are looking very closely at is that the Red Sox are chatting it up with Napoli. That's coming from Jim Bowden HERE.  The Yankees will need to cock block that big time and to do that, they may need to dabble in a conversation or 2 with the beefy free agent.  You also have to think that maybe they're interested in him too.  It is a possibility you know. Plus, don't forget the third factor in all of this, the Yankees could use a backup first baseman. Napoli can do that.    I mean look, this is a business and if the Yankees don't think they got what they needed from Martin, there is always that chance they move on.
I've seen the Yankees pull off some pretty incredible signings in the dead of night and while that relationship with Martin is strong, it's possible Napoli can give more at the plate and earn the trust of our pitching too. So don't be surprised if they become curious and say bye bye Martin.

Look, this is not a bash post.  I love Russell Martin in pinstripes and I want him back, no doubt! But there is a major concern for whether of not his bat is gonna work in the Bronx.  A .211 average in 422 at bats?  Not exactly stellar, you know what I mean?

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