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Blue Jays backload Russell Martin's contract

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays finally made the Russell Martin signing official, sending out a press release that included both official languages, something that I haven't seen in a Jays press release before.

Les BLUE JAYS DE TORONTO ont paraphé un contrat avec le receveur joueur autonome RUSSELL MARTIN d'une durée de cinq ans et d'une valeur de 82 millions de dollars américains. Selon les termes de son contrat, Martin effectuera annuellement un don à la Jays Care Foundation.

It mentions that Martin is a "East York, Ontario" native, that he lives in "Chelsea. Quebec" and that 'he'll make a donation to the Jays Care Foundation" annually, which is a part of most of the Blue Jays larger contracts.

What it doesn't tell us is how the $82 million over 5-years breaks down.

Jon Heyman comes to the rescue:

Hugely backloaded. It does made some sense. The Jays have very little payroll committed after next season and would like to have more flexibility this year.  This MLB Trade Rumors post shows The Jays had only $4 million obligated in 2018 and nothing beyond that.

Backloading it so much pretty much kills any trade value he would have later in his deal, but I guess the Jays aren't thinking about trading him. Max Pentecost should be looking for playing time by the 3rd year of the contract.

The nice part about the backloading is it shows that the Jays aren't finished spending this year. We can look forward to more moves, maybe more free agents, more trades. It looks to be a fun off-season.

Shi Davidi talks about Martin's leadership abilities:

The dude expects to win, and plays a position where he can really make a difference.

I don't know that expecting to win is a skill but ok. We pick up players for leadership reasons every year. I just hope he plays good baseball.

And there is this from Ken Rosenthal:

I wonder what people would offer for Navarro? Maybe we could get a couple of good bullpen arms? Of course, then we'd be looking at Josh Thole as our backup catcher again. I could do without that.