The last time Russell Martin was in the National League his numbers were woeful, to say the least. Martin burst onto the scene as a Los Angeles Dodger, but three MLB seasons into his career he was hitting .250 with just seven home runs, so he left town.
As a New York Yankee Marin turned his career around and returned to the powerful batter that the Dodgers had hoped he’d be all along. While Martin is no Joe Mauer when he comes to averages his 39 home runs and 118 RBI in the last two seasons combined is respectful from the catchers position.
If I were the Pittsburgh Pirates, I would be a little skeptical about just how good Martin will be a year removed from hitting a lowly .211. The dimensions of Yankee Stadium surely aided Martin, and I have my doubts that he will be clubbing 20 home runs for the Pirates in 2013.
My issue is just how awful Martin was the last time he played in the National League. As a Dodger he was not a threat and didn’t get the job done behind the plate. Martin could easily be a product of a Yankees lineup that was chalked full of stars.
Call me a pessimist all you like, but I just don’t think that Martin is the answer for the Pirates behind the plate, and they may have signed a two-year deal to someone who won’t produce.