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Blue Jays Sign Russell Martin to a Five-Year, $82 Million Contract

The Toronto Blue Jays made a surprising trip into the MLB free agent market on Monday by reportedly signing former All-Star catcher Russell Martin to a whopping five-year, $82 million contract.

Martin, 31, is coming off a career season that saw him hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The interesting dynamic here is that Martin had struggled big time with average in the five seasons prior to 2014. In fact, he bottomed out with a .211 average in 2012 before seeing it slightly increase to a still substandard .226 clip in 2013.

I understand full well that the catcher position is at a premium around baseball today, but $16.4 million per season seems to be a bit of a reach for Martin.

Toronto did beat out other teams for Martin’s services. And it was a rare win for the Blue Jays on the free agent market. They have a hard time landing players simply because of the major tax difference between Canada and the United States. That’s also one of the primary reasons that they likely overspent a tad on Martin.

Photo: USA Today