Russell Martin has signed a two-year contract to become on member of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Martin will be going from a franchise that has reached the postseason 17 of the past 18 years to one that hasn’t reached the postseason in two decades.The deal is worth $17 million and will earn the sixth-year back stop $6.5 million in 2013 and $8.5 million in 2014, along with a $2 million signing bonus which is payable on December 31.
When asked about the how he felt about joining the Pirates and his new manager Clint Hurdle, Martin had the following to say, “It’s going to be different. It’s going to be a challenge but I think the Pirates have a young and electric club. There is a lot of talent there and I don’t think we’re as far away as winning as maybe people outside baseball think we are.” I always liked the way Clint’s teams played when he managed Colorado and I have a lot of respect for him. I just like being around him and I trust him. I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington had the following to say in regards of the team’s addition of Martin: “There is a lot to like about Russell. He handles a pitching staff well, he calls a good game, he throws well, he is capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark. We’re very excited to be able to add him to our club.”
Last season Martin had a down year with the Yankees, hitting a career-low .211 with a career-high 21 home runs and 53 runs batted-in.