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Jays considering Russell Martin?

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Justin K. Aller

If nothing else, Jeff Blair knows how to get us talking.

Blair tells us that the Blue Jays have had internal discussions about the going after free agent, Canadian born, shortstop catcher Russell Martin, saying they could sign him to catch and more Dioner Navarro to DH.

Russell is number 8 on MLB Trade Rumors list of top 50 free agents and the top catcher on the list. The Pirates will give him a qualifying offer  They guess that he will sign with the Cubs.

Martin hit .290/.402/.430 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 111 games with the Pirates in 2014, his best season ever, at least for the slash line. Baseball Reference has him at a 5.5 WAR for the season. Over the last 5 years his OPS has been .679, .732, .713, .703 and .832 so whoever signs him will be buying high. He will be 32 before the start of next season.

I think he's going to get a lot of money, and likely more years than I'd want to give to a 32 year old catcher. I doubt we'd get the home country discount. Add in that he would cost us our 1st round draft pick, which is something that seems out of character for Alex,I can't see this happening, as much as the possibility of having Lawrie, Pompey and Martin all in the lineup together would be fun from a 'I like Canadians playing for the Jays' point of view.

Russell would be an upgrade on defense and, course, he has that leadership thing that people talk about, as well as being Canadian, but I'd have to guess that the odds are pretty slim on this one.