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New York Yankees, Russell Martin Putting Contract Extension Talks on Hold

February 25th, 2012 at 6:31 AM
By Daniel Sirianni

The New York Yankees and catcher Russell Martin have been discussing a possible contract extension to avoid free agency after the season. However, the sides are too far apart to make a deal so they will delay any further contract talks until after the season, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com. 

Under Martin's current contract, he will earn $7.5 million this season and become a free agent next winter. The Yankees were willing to give Martin a three-year extension worth $20 million, but the 29 year-old catcher was hoping for a better annual raise.

Martin batted .237 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI last season in his first year with the Yankees. He struggled in the playoffs, batting just .176 in five games. 

At the start of the offseason, Martin's future in New York was uncertain with young slugger Jesus Montero being a possibility to take over the starting catcher role once Martin's contract ran out. However, the Yankees traded Montero to the Seattle Mariners to acquire pitcher Michael Pineda, securing Martin's starting job until another Yankees prospect such as Austin Romine or Gary Sanchez are ready for the majors. 

If Martin signs long-term with New York, Romine and/or Sanchez might be used as trade assets to acquire other positions of need, just as Montero was. 

Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Russell Martin

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