The offseason just got officially underway today with the Blue Jays signing Russell Martin to a five-year deal for "McCann money". The Ontario native will return to his home after spending his first nine professional seasons split between the Dodgers, Yankees, and Pirates. The 31-year-old catcher will immediately become the backstop of the Blue Jays for a very long time, meaning Dioner Navarro or Josh Thole is probably on their way out of town before the season begins. The news broke all at once, but here are some tweets:
Source: Martin deal with #BlueJays is five years, $82M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 17, 2014
Martin deal first reported by @pgammo. Length of contract first reported by @JonHeymanCBS— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 17, 2014
Martin appeared in 111 games with the Pirates last year hitting .290/.402/.832 with 11 home runs, which was good enough for a WAR of 5.5 thanks to solid defensive numbers as well. The Blue Jays will also be forced to surrender their #17 draft pick in the 2015 draft due to Martin rejecting his qualifying offer from the Pirates at the end of the year.
Before today, #BlueJays largest free agent deal under Alex Anthopoulos was two years and $16 million for Melky Cabrera.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 17, 2014
Blue Jays were only team to offer Martin the 5th year and that was the difference maker…along with $82m as first reported by @pgammo— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) November 17, 2014
There will obviously be much more from us in the coming hours, but here's a good place to post your reactions to the biggest Blue Jays free agent deal in a long time.