User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
C Martin finalizes two-year deal with Bucs

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Russell Martin is going from a franchise that has won a record 27 World Series titles to a franchise that has endured a record 20 consecutive losing seasons.

Advertisement
Yet Martin, a catcher, said Friday he is excited about joining the Pittsburgh Pirates after finalizing a $17 million, two-year contract as a free agent. Martin spent the last two seasons with the New York Yankees.

``It's going to be different,'' Martin said. ``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.''

The Pirates are hoping Martin can help get them at least over .500. Their string of losing seasons continued this year when they went from 16 games over .500 at 64-48 on Aug. 8 to a 79-83 finish by losing 35 of their last 50 games.

``There is a lot to like about Russell,'' Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. ``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.''

Martin, 29, hit a career-low .211 last season for the Yankees but also finished with a career-best 21 home runs. Rod Barajas, the Pirates' primary catcher in 2012, batted .206 with 11 homers.

``It wasn't a very good year,'' Martin said, ``and I know I'm capable of doing better.''

Martin gets a $2 million signing bonus payable by Dec. 31 and salaries of $6.5 million next season and $8.5 million in 2014.

Part of the allure of coming to Pittsburgh for Martin was having the chance to play for manager Clint Hurdle. The two developed a relationship at the 2008 All-Star game when Hurdle, then with Colorado, was the National League manager, and Martin, then with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was on the NL squad for the game at Yankee Stadium.

``I always liked the way Clint's teams played when he managed Colorado and I have a lot of respect for him,'' Martin said. ``I just like being around him and I trust him. I'm looking forward to playing for him.''

In addition to adding power to the lineup, the Pirates are hopeful Martin can strengthen their defense.

Martin threw out 24 percent of runners attempting to steal last season, nailing 20 of 83, while Barajas threw out just 6 percent at 6 of 99. The major-league average was 27 percent.

``Russell has good arm strength and a quick release but we're going to have to give him help, too,'' Huntington said. ``Our pitchers have to do a better job of holding runners.''

Right-hander Jeff Karstens was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Martin. Karstens was 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 19 games, including 15 starts, last season while spending time on the disabled list with shoulder and groin injuries.

The signing reunites Martin with right-hander A.J. Burnett. The two played together with the Yankees in 2011 before Burnett was traded to Pittsburgh last February.

Martin was offered a $20 million, three-year deal by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training and did not accept it. New York did not make him an offseason offer.

``I like Russell Martin,'' Cashman said Friday at a charity event in Stamford, Conn. ``I'm a big Russell Martin fan. But ultimately we have a lot of holes to fill and we have to be very careful how we spend our money. The market for Russell was aggressive as it should have been and again our focus has been our pitching.''

NOTES: RHP Charlie Morton agreed to a $2 million, one-year deal with the Pirates, who did not offer a 2013 contract to Karstens.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Astros rally past Mariners, 8-4
Yanks end Boston's 11-game hot streak
Jays cruise past Orioles, 'under' hits
Tigers blank Indians, 1 back in WC
Mets pound Marlins, 'over' cashes
Cubs continue dominance of Pirates
Scherzer lifts Nationals past D-backs
Nationals C Ramos out for playoffs
Tebow sharp in last tuneup before debut
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
3-0 +405 Y'day 30-15 +2,126 Run
8-4 +371 L2 Days, +8,334 TY
13-6, +760 L19 MLB G-Plays
4-2 L6 Guaranteed Plays
3-1 L4 MLB Selections
11-5 L16 Guaranteed Plays
12-6 L18 G-Plays, +3,095 TY
+4,370 Net Profits TY
5-1 Record Last 6 G-Plays
8-4, +540 L12 Guaranteed Plays
6-3, +314 Last 9 Selections
5-2 L7 Picks & Guarantees
6-3 Last 9 MLB G-Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks
2016 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 8334
Jim Feist + 4370
John Fisher + 3095
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1968
Kevin Rogers + 1769
Jim Feist + 1672
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 4108
Kyle Hunter + 1267
Antony Dinero + 1236
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jim Feist + 3080
Antony Dinero + 2882
Micah Roberts + 2591
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 2759
Micah Roberts + 2258
Jim Feist + 1937
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1890
Bill Marzano + 1555
Mark Franco + 1179
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership