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55 Russell Martin C
Height/Weight: 5-10/203 | Birthdate: 2/15/1983 | Birthplace: East York, Ontario, CAN | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: Toronto | College: Chipola JC FL | MLB Experience: 10 | Salary: $7,500,000 | Owned/Started%: 87/76 | Average Draft Position: 200.89
TOR

Latest Updates

 

Jeff Francis, Russell Martin become Blue Jays' first Canadian battery


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/19/2015) When Jeff Francis entered Sunday's game in the fifth inning and pitched to catcher Russell Martin, it marked the first time in Blue Jays' history that the franchise featured a Canadian battery, reports the Toronto Sun

Francis, who hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, was called up by the Blue Jays from Triple-A before Sunday's game. 

Martin is from East York, Ontario.


Blue Jays C Russell Martin breaks through with multi-homer game


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/18/2015) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin hit his first two homers of the season on Friday, snapping an 0 for 33 slump in the process.

"It's definitely encouraging but it's not really satisfying when you don't end up winning the game," Martin said.

The homers were just Martin's second and third hits of the season, boosting his average from .042 to .111.

Blue Jays' Gibbons pins Martin's struggles on changing teams


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin went 0 for 4 Tuesday against the Rays, extending his hitless streak to 21 at-bats. Martin compounded his problems with a costly throwing error in the eighth inning, which allowed Steven Souza to advance to third on a stolen-base attempt and eventually score the winning run.

"They bother me, probably, equally," Martin said of his slump and throwing error, per MLB.com. "I like to win baseball games ... any time you don't help the team win, it's not a good feeling. But it's over with. I'm not going to be down on myself. I'm trying my best out there."

Martin hasn't gotten a hit since Opening Day. He is batting .043 with eight strikeouts. While he is struggling, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons isn't surprised as Martin is getting acclimated to a new team.

"It's pretty common in this game ... if you get traded, or you're a free agent," Gibbons said. "These guys are human. Naturally, these guys want to get out to a good start. You're in a new place, things like that."


Slow start at plate for Blue Jays' Russell Martin


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/13/2015) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is a native Canadian, but his homecoming has gotten off to a slow start. 

Martin is one for his first 16 in 2015, for a .063 batting average. He has eight strikeouts, or one every two at bats. Martin has two strikeouts in each of his last three games. 


Josh Thole's demotion impacts Blue Jays roster, catcher rotation


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) The Blue Jays announced Tuesday catcher Josh Thole was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Thole's demotion means Russell Martin will be knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's personal catcher, per MLB.com.

Thole's demotion also means Dioner Navarro, who has asked for a trade, will be the backup catcher and get some at-bats at DH.


Blue Jays' Martin: Pirates 'were going to do everything they could'


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin says the Pirates did everything they could to try and re-sign him, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with Toronto, but said the Pirates really pushed to keep him around. "They were going to do everything they could," Martin said. "They were pretty vocal about that. But then it comes to a point where, as an organization, if you're thinking business-wise, you can't stack all your chips and then leave yourself vulnerable for later."

Martin also admitted that the opportunity to be a role model in Canada was a big reason he signed in Toronto. "The opportunity to play in Canada, for my family to be able to watch me play, to be a role model for younger Canadians and be that guy, it's a better fit for me overall for that reason," he explained.

In the end, the money and a fifth year led Martin to the Blue Jays. "[The Pirates] were pretty vocal, and I think that they definitely wanted me back. It was just a feeling that Toronto wanted me a little bit more," he said.

The 32-year-old hit .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats last season.


Blue Jays' Russell Martin, R.A. Dickey starting to develop chemistry


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) After their first pitching and catching session of the spring, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said he had no issues trying to catch R.A. Dickey's knuckleball, reports MLB.com.

"I think he's probably a little bit impressed with how I'm able to catch it and not struggle too much," Martin said. "I'm not making it look too pretty back there, but I think as long as I catch the ball, I think that's the most important part."

Dickey has struggled to find a catcher over the last two seasons with the Blue Jays that can handle his knuckleball, but said Martin appears to be the perfect match.

"Russell's a great athlete, and more than that, he has a real willingness and desire to unpack what it takes to catch it well," Dickey said. "I don't anticipate us having any trouble. I think he's going to be able to do it."


Blue Jays planning days off for Edwin Encarnacion in 2015


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/21/2015) The Blue Jays are expecting to utilize Edwin Encarnacion as a designated hitter in 2015 instead of full-time at first base, manager John Gibbons said Friday. Gibbons wants to prevent Encarnacion from suffering injuries as much as possible this season, according to the Toronto Sun.

"We'll be looking to give Encarnacion time off anyway to prevent a recurrence of the back problems that he had last season," said Gibbons. "It’s important to nip that in the bud."

If catcher Dioner Navarro is not traded, it is likely that Encarnacion will play some first so that Navarro can DH and newly signed Russell Martin can catch.


Blue Jays' Dickey has faith in Russell Martin catching his knuckleball


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey is excited about new catcher Russell Martin and believes he can catch his knuckleball, SportsNet.com reports.

“Nothing is going to replace time spent together, and so I think from the get-go, we’re probably going to be spending a lot of time on the side, bullpens, playing catch so that he can get a feel for what that pitch does and see if he feels like it’s something he can do every day that I pitch, that’s 34 starts,” Dickey said.

Martin said he expects to be the catcher when Dickey starts and doesn't believe the knuckleball will be a problem.

Dickey went 14-13 in 2014, posting a 3.71 ERA in 215 2/3 innings.


Blue Jays' Gibbons views Martin as 'ideal fit' for second spot in order


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called recently signed catcher Russell Martin an "ideal fit" for the second spot in the team's batting order, per MLB.com. Gibbons said Martin fits well near the top of the order because he makes consistent contact and is coming off a season in which he had a .402 on-base percentage.

"He's a guy that everybody in the organization wanted to be able to get," Gibbons said. "That was big to set the tone ... One thing about him is he's a complete player, really good behind the plate and can really handle the bat."

Martin has just a .235 average in 79 career games batting second. However, he has a career .341 on-base percentage with 12 stolen bases out of the No. 2 spot in the order.


Blue Jays finalize five-year deal with catcher Russell Martin


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/18/2014) The Blue Jays officially announced Tuesday the signing of catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract. It is the largest free-agent contract during general manager Alex Anthopoulos' tenure with Toronto, according to the team's official website.

The breakdown of Martin's contract will be $7 million in the first year, $15 million in the second year and $20 million in each of the remaining three seasons, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The 31-year-old catcher hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage, .430 slugging percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games for Pittsburgh in 2014. The Blue Jays will be Martin's fourth MLB team. He played for the Dodgers, Yankees and Pirates over his first nine seasons in the majors.


Russell Martin signs five-year, $82 million deal with Blue Jays


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/17/2014) Russell Martin will be heading back to his hometown, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The Blue Jays and Martin have agreed to a five-year contract worth $82 million on Monday, per Heyman.

Martin is coming off a strong 2014 campaign in which he compiled a .290/.402/.430 slash line with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in just 379 at-bats.


Report: Cubs favored to sign free agent C Russell Martin


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11/14/2014) The Cubs are the favorites to land free agent catcher Russell Martin, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, which is further reporting that the signing could take place as early as the end of November.

The trade by the Pirates for catcher Francisco Cervelli could signal their surrender on the Martin front while the Dodgers haven't exhibited the same level of interest in Martin that the Cubs have. The Cubs, who have a strong base of young talent and recently landed manager Joe Maddon, appear to be setting their sights to win in 2015.

Martin is coming off a strong season in which he compiled a stat line of .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in just 379 at-bats.


Dodgers looking to bring back Russell Martin


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/13/2014) The Dodgers are looking to sign catcher Russell Martin, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Martin spent his first six seasons with the club before signing with the Yankees. The 31-year-old Martin is coming off a season in which he hit .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats. He's the best catcher on the market, and has already drawn interest from a number of teams. The Pirates are said to be strong suitors for Martin, but it's unclear how much money the club can spend to keep him.


Report: Pirates still in the mix to sign catcher Russell Martin


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/13/2014) The Pirates are not out of the running to sign catcher Russell Martin after acquiring catcher Francisco Cervelli from the Yankees, according to FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal. They made the trade for roster protection in case they don't re-sign Martin, who is a highly coveted free agent.

The Cubs and Dodgers are also in the mix to sign Martin, who hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games last season.


Russell Martin rejects qualifying offer from Pirates


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/10/2014) The Pirates were informed Monday catcher Russell Martin has rejected his one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer. The Pirates will receive draft-pick compensation if Martin signs with another team.

Russell Martin meets with Cubs, lines up other visits


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/8/2014) Free agent catcher Russell Martin met with the Cubs Thursday, CBSChicago.com reports, adding that Martin will also visit the Pirates, Blue Jays and Dodgers.

Martin should be a hot commodity on the market this offseason as potentially the best available catcher after hitting .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 379 at-bats with the Pirates in 2014. Welington Castillo, the Cubs' primary catcher, hit .237/.296/.389 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 380 at-bats.


Cubs targeting catcher Russell Martin


(11/4/2014) Having already made headlines with the hiring of manager Joe Maddon, the Cubs are hoping to also make headlines on the free agent market.

The Cubs are looking at adding catcher Russell Martin, according to CBSSports Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. If he does sign with the Cubs, the Pirates would be owed a compensatory draft pick after offering Martin a $15.3 million qualifying offer.

Martin is a highly coveted catcher because of his ability to not only handle a pitching staff, but to also produce at the plate. In 2014, Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI for the Pirates.


Blue Jays interested in catcher Russell Martin


(11/3/2014) Wanting a proven veteran presence behind the plate, the Blue Jays have had internal discussions about adding catcher Russell Martin, reports Sportsnet.ca.

Whether the Blue Jays have a shot at Martin is another story. The Pirates are planning on extending Martin a $15.3 million qualifying offer Monday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Martin is a highly coveted catcher because of his ability to not only handle a pitching staff, but to also produce at the plate. In 2014, Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI for the Pirates.


Pirates to extend qualifying offer to Russell Martin


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/16/2014) The Pirates will extend a qualifying offer to catcher Russell Martin, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

General manager Neal Huntington has said the club will do whatever it can to retain Martin, but there's some believe he's already priced himself out of Pittsburgh's budget. The club reportedly offered Martin a long-term deal during the season, but Martin declined. 

With the qualifying offer, Martin could return to the Pirates for one season at a $15.3 million salary. He's expected to receive a lucrative multi-year deal on the market, so he may end up declining that offer. Martin hit .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats.


Pirates' Russell Martin turned down contract offer


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/10/2014) Pirates catcher Russell Martin turned down a contract offer, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

The club made an attempt to re-sign Martin at some point during the season, but the catcher declined. The team pushed off extension talks into the season, but Martin quickly boosted his value. It's believed the Pirates will do everything they can to try and keep him, but Martin may have pushed himself out of their price range. Martin hit a solid .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats with the club.


Russell Martin collects one hit Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/2/2014) Pirates catcher Russell Martin picked up one hit Wednesday against the Giants.

The Pirates only mustered four hits against Madison Bumgarner, so Martin was one of the standout performers during the contest. During his last at-bat, the fans chanted for Martin to re-sign with the club during the offseason. The team continued to chant even after Martin flew out. He gave the fans a tip of the cap before going into the dugout. Martin is set to be a free agent during the offseason.


Pirates catcher Russell Martin starts Wednesday vs. Giants


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) As expected, Pirates catcher Russell Martin made it into the starting lineup for Wednesday's wild-card game against the Giants. He had been out since aggravating a hamstring injury Friday.

Russell Martin expects to start for Pirates in wild-card game


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Pirates catcher Russell Martin, who has been out since aggravating a hamstring injury Friday, told reporters Tuesday he expects to be in the starting lineup for Wednesday's wild-card game against the Giants.

Russell Martin not in lineup Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/28/2014) Pirates catcher Russell Martin (hamstring) is not in the starting lineup for Sunday's season finale against the Reds.