I realize we’re talking historic levels of ill-advised, but keep in mind free agent C Russell Martin’s 2-year, $17 million pact with the Pirates is the most they’ve lavished on a free agent in the club’s existence. More annoyingly, as the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Dejan Kovacevic notes, Martin simply isn’t very good, calling the former Yankee catcher’s acquisition, “an overpriced desperation move that’s going to hurt the in more ways than one.”
Martin batted .211/.311.403 last season for the Yankees, despite playing at a hitter-friendly ballpark, and he experienced a sixth consecutive year of offensive decline. He batted 18 points lower than Clint Barmes, just five points better than Rod Barajas.
To point out that Martin is a defensive upgrade over Barajas is an insult to the concept of upgrades. Martin is good, not great, behind the plate. Barajas was good at game-calling and receiving, horrific at throwing out baserunners.